Oily pigs at the trough | The Jackal

31 Jul 2014

Oily pigs at the trough

We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil baron masters.

While the government is making numerous and severe cuts that have caused many public services to decline or no longer be available, National MP's are living it up and throwing elaborate parties for their mates with no expenses spared.

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

Spending on oil barons draws criticism

Minister says $22,000 on food and drink over four days isn’t a misuse of Government money.

Mr Bridges yesterday revealed the breakdown of the $237,000 in taxpayers' money that went towards the New Zealand Oil & Gas Summit 2011.

It included:

• $22,000 on catering, including meals at top restaurants Martin Bosley's and Logan Brown

• $37,000 on accommodation at the Intercontinental Hotel

• $12,000 on corporate box Rugby World Cup hosting

• $10,000 on activities, including a sailing trip and a winery tour

• $20,000 on a welcome reception

• $40,000 on a one-day seminar

The remaining $96,000 is understood to have gone towards event and project management.

How on earth was Simon Bridges able to waste $96,000 on event management?

The government spending a quarter of a million dollars on wining and dining oil execs is bad enough, especially when there's no measurable financial return for such a huge investment, but when you consider that many Kiwi families are struggling to even put food on the table then such expenditure is entirely unacceptable!

These people are rich enough to pay for themselves and don't require government handouts. Furthermore, the government already subsidizes the oil and gas industry to the tune of $81 million dollars per year, so why should we provide them with any further taxpayer incentives to do business in New Zealand?

This blatant troughing must end and the best way to do that is to change the government in September.