They just don’t learn do they? In spite of Labour’s contention the pledge card (remember the one they spent our money on illegally then changed the law to make it legal in retrospect?) was just a belt-way issue when it wasn’t they’re snubbing their noses at public opinion again – spending our money on their budget brochure.
Labour is dipping into taxpayers’ money to produce leaflets on the May Budget – publicity that is almost certainly election advertising under its new Electoral Finance Act and will have to be counted in its election expenses.
That means large sums of public money will again have gone towards a Labour election campaign. The cost of the leaflet may also have to be declared as a donation by Parliament to the Labour Party under the troublesome new law, which is not how Labour intended it to work.
Oh dear – they’re having problems with their own bad law.
The leaflet does not breach Parliament’s own spending laws because they have been liberalised and it does not breach the Electoral Finance Act because it is authorised. But there may be a post-election sting in it for Labour.
The party will almost certainly have to declare the leaflet in its election expenses return to the Electoral Commission and deduct its cost from its $2.4 million cap.
Wellington electoral law specialist Graeme Edgeler said last night the leaflet met the definition of election advertisement under the Electoral Finance Act.
“It doesn’t say vote Labour, but that is the clear implication.”
It had party colours, the Labour logo, and the party’s tax-cut promises this year and in the future. He did not believe it could be considered under the exception given to an MP producing material in their capacity as MP.
“This is a Labour Party promotional leaflet.” It was “almost certainly” an election advertisement and as such should be declared in the party’s expenses.
And as such will almost certainly rile voters who also happen to be taxpayers who don’t like their money spent on political partys’ self-promotion.