Labour’s taxpayer funded campaign

July 20th, 2011 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Readers will have probably seen ’s advertisements for their campaign website on different online media. The actual advertisements are taxpayer funded and authorised by Chief Whip Rick Barker.

The site they take you to is a party funded site authorised by Chris Flatt. Both the advertisements and the site are clearly election advertisements.

The advertisements are legal under parliamentary rules, but as usual with Labour they push the rules to the absolute boundary. They have combined parliamentary and party ads and sites so they have the same look, slogans and feel. It is as close as you can come to have the taxpayer actually fund advertisements saying “Vote for Labour”. They’re doing it in an slightly indirect way.

All parties fund material from their parliamentary budget which is “political”. You can’t easily draw a line between political and parliamentary. But this current campaign is around 1% parliamentary and 99% political campaigning. As I said before Labour have a long history of pushing the rules to their limit, or as they did in 2005 beyond the limit.

I look forward to 26 August when the taxpayer funding tap gets turned off for parliamentary parties’ advertisements.

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15 Responses to “Labour’s taxpayer funded campaign”

  1. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    Which is why taxpayers should not fund ANY political parties. They should fund raise their own money from members, cake stalls or selling honourary consul prositions. I have never been a member of any party and object to my money being forceibly taken from me by the IRD and spent promoting political parties.

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  2. expat (4,048 comments) says:

    I wound’t mind as much if the funding spend was getting results but it seems that every dollar we give Labour to spend is a negative investment because they keep falling in the polls. Isn’t advertising supposed to result in some kind of increase? On that basis alone Labour should have funding cut.

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  3. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    It just shows how nonsensical are the rules dividing ‘political’ from ‘parliamentary’. To politicians, quite naturally, everything is political.

    I could agree with Brian, but when we elect politicians, we will always be funding the bill for their activities to some degree, and this is where these rules have come from. First you pay them salaries and the next thing you know you are paying for them to send you propaganda.

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  4. Whafe (652 comments) says:

    It is amazing, the line must be so fine… If it wasnt a ever so fine line, this behaviour would have ceased. Clearly it hasn’t and doesn’t look to be slowing up…

    Have to say, the socialist crap these Labour ads spew is the pits, clearly it is not work one iotta….

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  5. ben (2,414 comments) says:

    I presume by “our economy” Labour is referring to its own advertising budget.

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  6. RRM (9,663 comments) says:

    It’s enlightening to see when people choose to hate the player and when they choose to hate the game.
    (This applies in life outside of politics as well.)

    Labour are playing within the rules, but we don’t like Labour so we criticise Labour not the rules. Fair enough, BUT…

    Act are in Parliament due to the MMP system; by a quirk of this system a party with more votes from the public than them – Winston First – is not in Parliament. Isn’t it strange that we see no criticism of Act for “pushing the rules to the limit”…

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  7. RightNow (6,842 comments) says:

    If you haven’t seen any criticism of ACT RRM you must be terribly short sighted

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  8. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    RRM

    Yep, the rules are to blame in both cases.

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  9. nasska (10,910 comments) says:

    What if……

    …we did away with the entire “Parliamentary Budget” for all political parties. Judging by the quality of the crap that hits my mailbox it is highly unlikely that the electorate would be fractionally less informed of anything important should the axe fall on this rort. Political parties form to push their own agenda….if getting the news out is so important they’ll find the money somehow.

    Next problem….

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  10. Inventory2 (10,178 comments) says:

    @ RRM; in both cases, one could argue that the law is indeed an ass.

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  11. Grendel (972 comments) says:

    Because RRM, its long been an established option under MMP. it made sense to me when i read the MMP rules in 1996 and was even talked about as an option by the media.

    it was used as a strategy to get back in when Winston used it to get back in in 1999 as well (and the greens got close to needing it, but pipped over the 5%), there was none of the vitriol we have now when Jim brought a mate with him one election. the only reason this is now supposedly a ‘bad’ rule’ is because Act used it.

    Its been a rule since the inception of MMP and just because you don;t like who gets to use it does not make it bad law.

    On the other hand, stretching (if not blatantly breaking it) an already abused rule to steal more money from the public and being prepared to retrospectively make your theft legal, is both reprehensible and also bad rules.

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  12. tvb (4,255 comments) says:

    The rules on Parliamentary funding should be tightened considerably and the funding amounts should also be cut substantually. They should be permitted to fund a non colour ad in the local paper advising constituents where the local MP can be found and clinics. Party logos should be prohibited but the parliamentary crest must be shown.

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  13. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    tvb – politicians voting for less money and for less pleasing themselves???

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  14. Rick Rowling (823 comments) says:

    mikenmild (1,203) Says:
    July 20th, 2011 at 8:15 am

    RRM

    Yep, the rules are to blame in both cases.

    And is anyone really surprised about who is better at working the rules to get more “free” stuff?

    /as ever, free = paid for by other people

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  15. goonix (140 comments) says:

    The real issue here is: why are you using IE and WMP?

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