No Right Turn says:
Back in 2006, the (then-Labour) government passed the Appropriation (Parliamentary Expenditure Validation) Bill, which retrospectively validated Parliamentary Services expenditure in the wake of a nonsensical, retrospective reinterpretation by the Auditor-General. The rabids in the sewer (and some supposedly outside it) preached revolution.
Today, the (now-National) government introduced the Appropriation (2007/08 Financial Review) Bill, which among other things retrospectively validates various items of unapproved, unappropriated expenditure.
Will we see the same outpouring of outrage from the sewer, or will they finally admit that such retrospective validations are standard procedure and happen almost every year? Hmmm, I wonder…
This is one of the more desperate rewritings of history. Yes validations are common place, but Idiot/Savant deliberately overlooks the vast differences with this one.
Also he continues to smear and lie about the Auditor-General. The Auditor-General warned parties before the 2005 election about their spending. They ignored him. The opinion of the Auditor-General was backed up by the Solictor-General. And what was truly despeciable is that the Government and certain scyophantic supporters attacked the Auditor-General time and time again claiming he was wrong – and then they went and passed a law which killed off a law suit that would have resulted in a Court deciding if he was right or not.
It is bad enough to attack an Independent Officer if Parliament for doing their job, but to attack them and to support a law change that would stop a court case over whether they are correct is disgusting.
As for the other issue of validation, here are what made this case different:
- The MPs voting for validation had personally gained (in a political sense) from the illegal expenditure. They were not disinterested participants. This is totally different to a minor breach by some junior official in a department.
- Not all parties had agreed to pay the money back, and in the case of NZ First never paid it back.
- The MPs voted down an amendment that would have allowed the Darnton vs Clark lawsuit to continue, so that a court ruling could have been obtained on whether or not the pledge card was illegal.
- The MPs who voted to validate kept claiming the expenditure was legal and like Idiot/Savant attacked the Auditor-General, rather than accept the ruling.
- The Auditor-General had explicitly warned MPs before the election about their expenditure, and they ignored his advice