Good to see The Boss seize on David Shearer’s failure to declare a US-based bank account with more than $50,000 in it on the MPs’ Register of Pecuniary Interests.
He describes it (here) as an “unfortunate” mistake of a type the Labour Party is quick to criticise the Government for.
“People make mistakes. I make mistakes and when I do, I try and tell people I’ve made them. It’s just that you don’t get cut any slack from the Labour Party when you say you’ve made a mistake, but when they make one they don’t want anyone to have a look at it.”
Mind you, Shearer isn’t talking of a mistake.
Rather, it’s an oversight.
The Labour leader yesterday owned up to what he said was an oversight.
He has asked the Registrar Dame Margaret Bazley to belatedly add the account at Chase Bank in the United States to his entry in the register, where MPs are required to list their assets, debts and gifts.
Actually, forgetting about a bank account with $50,000-plus in it is a bit like John Banks forgetting about taking a helicopter ride to Kim Dotcom’s mansion in Auckland.
As John Key noted, the account’s balance was above the $50,000 threshold above which it must be declared, “so it could be quite a bit more than that”.
How much more?
We’d all like to know.
But Mr Shearer this morning again refused to say how much was in the account.
“I’m not going to go down that road.”
“This is something between my family and myself, but it’s over the threshold and as a result I’ve a duty to declare it.”
The good news is that he pays his taxes, apparently.
Mr Shearer said he discovered the error because he was filling in his tax return at the same time as filling out his return for Parliament’s register of pecuniary interests and “saw that I hadn’t put it on there”.
“Frankly I was horrified that I’d overlooked it and I moved straight away to correct it.”
Banks is obviously relishing watching Shearer squirm.
“Shearer is on record as saying those who suffer from a memory lapse aren’t fit to hold office,” he said.
Actually, Alf had forgotten Shearer said that.
But he won’t be discussing this memory lapse with anyone, lest they use it to claim he is unfit to hold office.