An end to taxpayer funded pledge cards

Over at NBR (subscriber section) I blog:

Documents released under the Official Information Act this week reveal that both the Cabinet and the Parliamentary Service Commission have approved a law change to amend the Parliamentary Service Act 2000, to prevent a repeat of electioneering materials such as Labour’s 2005 pledge card being funded by the taxpayer.

This will be welcome by many, especially when you realise the current law.

The current law still allows Parliament to fund blatant electioneering material so long as it does not explicitly solicit votes. A parliamentary party could spend half a million dollars on billboards and newspaper ads promoting their election promises in the week before the election, and send the taxpayer the bill – even though Parliament had been dissolved a month earlier.

I expect we will see a bill implementing the change in the next few weeks.

Full details of the proposed change are at NBR.

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