Will PGF use taxpayer funds to sue the taxpayer?

The Herald reports:

The Problem Gambling Foundation is seeking legal advice over a possible High Court challenge to a controversial Government decision to axe funding for most of its services for gambling addicts.

So because the Salvation Army was judged better able to provide support for gambling addicts, the PGF may use some of its money (90% taxpayer funded) on court action rather than actually helping gambling addicts. Shows their sense of priority.

The PGF has been claiming that the loss of its funding will silence its voice. This shows how much they have lost the plot. Taxpayers do not fund them to be a voice to lobby Government. That is explicitly illegal, ruled so by the Auditor-General. They are funded to provide support for gambling addicts. Any advocacy is meant to come out of their own funds.

So if they claim their loss of taxpayer funding will silence their voice, it is a de facto admission they have been illegally cross-subsidising their advocacy work from their taxpayer funding. This means it is no surprise that the Salvation Army were found to be better able to actually help problem gamlers.

In Stuff the PGF said:

Ramsey confirmed the meetings, saying “it’s fair to say our political activity creates tension with the funder” but said he had told the ministry no taxpayer money was spent on advocacy work.

Yet in the same article he says:

Ramsey said the ministry’s decision, which strips away 77 per cent of the foundation’s budget and is likely to result in up to 52 job losses from a staff of 63, had the effect of “silencing the big voice against gambling”

So he is contradicting himself.

The answer of course is that the PGF used the taxpayer funding to massively fund their lobbying activities. It’s easy to do so. The biggest cost is always staff time, and you just have a proportion of the staff’s time spent on lobbying.

Now again I have no problems with lobbying – so long as it is not taxpayer funded lobbying.

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