Colin Espiner blogs:
What a disaster for Labour. Any faint chance it had of winning the 2011 election has been buried in the rubble of the gluttony, greed, and wanton extravagance of its foolhardy MPs.
The ministerial credit card spending of Labour’s former stars makes National’s odd indulgences look like paragons of fiscal rectitude.
Even Tim the Groser’s bar bill pales into insignificance beside the flagrant disregard for taxpayers’ money shown by the likes of Chris Carter, Parekura Horomia, Shane Jones, Mita Ririnui and Judith Tizard.
At least Shane Jones admits he was wrong. I can’t believe the sense of entitlement from some of his colleagues.
Flowers for each other, $160 bottles of Bolly, 16 beers during a dinner for two, massages and spa treatments, health clubs, whiskey, cigarettes, helicopter rides, plane charters, fancy luggage, and all the other trappings of the high life.
To call a spade a spade, Labour’s MPs were taking the piss. They were taking the taxpayers of New Zealand for a ride.
It’s such a pity, too. Because the revelations contained in the thousands of pages of credit card statements released to the media reinforce every stereotype and prejudice the public has always had of MPs: that they were on the pig’s back at our expense.
And that’s something I’ve always argued against. Most MPs aren’t like that. Most are hard-working, have a conscience, and are careful with public money. But their colleagues have totally stuffed it up for them all.
It is worth noting that it is not a majority of Ministers who spent up large. In fact it will be interesting to see how the various Ministers and ex Ministers look once all the papers have been gone through.