Government should not be spending taxpayer money to lobby itself
The Taxpayers’ Union has slammed the revelation that government agencies and State Owned Enterprises are spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on lobbying firms as revealed by Radio NZ this morning.
Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager, Callum Purves, said:
“Taxpayers’ money should not be used to pay for sock puppets to lobby the government on behalf of government agencies.
“SOEs, and Government agencies already have special access to decision makers. Paying the well connected, insiders and lobby firms doesn’t offer value for the public – nearly always they are serving the interests of the agencies and their bosses.
“While media commentary is often on the apparent need for a register of lobbyists, that doesn’t fully address the problem. It is very clear that former MPs, Ministers, and Parliamentary staffers are profiting from their connections. New Zealand is unusual in that there are no controls on regulators, government staffers or MPs from leaving their jobs and going straight into lobbying. That is where New Zealand’s law needs to catch up.”