Alf can’t say it better than Whaleoil, when it comes to discussing the rank hypocrisy of Labour’s Phil Goff. Constituents should read his post on the subject today.
Essentially, Whaleoil reminds us how Labour has persistently been putting the boot into our Bill English over the double dipping thing, perfectly legal though it happened to be.
But – as we learned last night – Goff is up to much the same sort of lark.
Alf will only add to Whaleoil’s account that he was thoroughly pissed off in the House this week when Amy Adams was doing a splendid job of extracting important stuff from English about the economy at Question Time.
For example, what progress has the Government made this year in laying the foundations for a more ambitious and faster-growing economy?
BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Finance) : We have made very considerable progress, particularly since ambitious growth for this economy is certainly going to take some time, in light of the global financial crisis.
Over the last 12 months we have introduced the biggest tax reform in 25 years, improved public services by freeing up about $4 billion for front-line services by reducing back-office services and ineffective programmes, invested billions of dollars on roads, begun the roll-out of ultra-fast broadband and a large home insulation package, started New Zealand’s first public-private partnerships, focused on improving education and skills with the introduction of national standards, and brought about the amalgamation of eight councils in Auckland into one council, very successfully.
Amy Adams: What impact has the Government had on New Zealand’s national savings?
Hon BILL ENGLISH: Over the last 2 years private savings have lifted, but Government savings have fallen. The net effect is that national savings have lifted substantially, as witnessed by the improvement in the balance of payments.
Looking ahead over the next 3 years the external deficit is likely to increase as the economy improves, but it is expected to be at about half or less of the level that it was at in the 5 years prior to 2008. The Government will continue to look for opportunities to reduce its deficits and therefore make more of a positive contribution to national savings.
And so on.
But then the malevolent Mallard popped up with a very toxic question:
Hon Trevor Mallard: Can the public also expect, in the next year, for him to repay the half a million dollars that he got from pretending to live in Dipton?
Hansard shows that an honourable member shouted: “No responsibility. No accountability.”
For the record, this was not Alf, because Alf was muttering to his bench-mate about Mallard being a slimy bastard.
As it happens, Lockwood Smith had been pondering the extent of responsibility but decided not to rule out the question because – as is dead right – “the Minister is perfectly capable of handling it”.
Of course he was perfectly capable.
Hon BILL ENGLISH: As the member knows, all those matters, including certification by his colleague Margaret Wilson of my living circumstances, were dealt with by the Auditor-General
So what happened just a day or so later?
Oh, yes. That’s when TV3 disclosed that Goff has been collecting parliamentary subsidies for his Wellington rental accommodation despite owning an apartment in the city.
He’s not alone. As Stuff tells us today, Cabinet ministers Phil Heatley, Wayne Mapp and Judith Collins also have apartments in Wellington which they rent out.
But they aren’t putting the boot into Bill English over double dipping.
Goff has explained that the apartment was tenanted until two weeks ago and he was trying to sell it.
But TV3 sent someone with an undercover camera to pose as a potential tenant to show that the property was still on the rental market.
Now that the whole world knows about his double standards, Goff is telling Stuff it was all a set-up, and that Jason Ede, a staffer from the prime minister’s office, had viewed the apartment earlier.
Not long afterwards, it seems, Goff began receiving calls from TV3.
“It’s come out of the prime minister’s office and that’s obvious, so it’s that kind of dirty trick,” he said.
He insisted he was still trying to sell the flat, but wanted to be sure he and his wife got the best price possible. “The housing market is pretty flat at the moment. This is part of my superannuation and my wife’s superannuation.”
But let’s face it – he is still saying he intends to sell the property more than a year after pledging to do so in a row over ministers claiming housing subsidies.
Alf has just one disagreement with Whaleoil on the matter.
Whaleoil says that if he was Goff he would jump before he was pushed.
Pansy Wong resigned when caught out, so did Richard Worth, will Phil Goff?
Alf says the best thing Goff can do for we Nats is carry on as Labour’s leader.