No bill = no debt? No

Dear Winston,

A man of your legal experience ought to know that your excuse/explanation won’t wash:

Winston Peters told Parliament’s privileges committee last night he could not be in breach of the laws around disclosure of debts owed by MPs, or their payment, because his lawyer never sent him any bills.

Mr Peters and his lawyer, Brian Henry, argued that without bills being rendered for legal work, no debts existed and therefore could not be declared.

The money doesn’t literally have to change hands to be a donation.

If someone does some work for you and doesn’t send a bill costs are still incurred and whether or not a bill is sent, you are in debt to the provider of the services. If someone else then pays said provider s/he is in fact donating to you.

If you don’t understand this, may I suggest you have a look at the Electoral Finance Act where the value of goods and services provided must be accounted for even if they are donated and whether or not a bill is sent.

Yours in the spirit of helpfulness

Homepaddock

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