Disaster Capitalism | The Jackal

21 Jul 2011

Disaster Capitalism

This week it was revealed that CERA officials are being paid over twice as much as was officially recommended. Former National Prime Minister Jenny Shipley, Anake Goodall and Murray Sherwin are being paid $1000 a day while the panel's convenor, Sir John William Hansen, receives $1400 a day.

This is way more than even the highest remuneration package as outlined in the Fees and allowances for statutory and other bodies report (PDF).

The media misreported somewhat concerning the level outlined in the Cabinet Fees Framework when they said the fee range was from $360 to $655 for chairpersons, and from $270 to $415 for a member.

The actual fee structure is dependent on the persons skill level. When I put Jenny Shipley through the test she received a 12, which makes her entitlement begin at $270 and not exceed $320. That means Shipley's receiving between three and four times as much as she's entitled to.

It's a blatant abuse of the guidelines by Gerry Brownlee, made all the worse by his lies following the revelation of right wing snouts in the trough. Brownlee said the people he appointed would not work for less, while the boards Chairperson, John Hansen said he was unaware of what the remuneration package was. So who is telling the truth, and why has Brownlee now refused to answer questions concerning this matter?

On the back of one of the worst recessions New Zealand has ever seen, such abuse of power is despicable! The fact that National has used the excuse of financial restrictions to cut Working for Families, CYF services, DOC, Woman's Refuges, Early Childhood Education and nearly every aspect of support that is required for a properly functioning society, such hypocrisy is simply disgusting!

Last year, Jenny Shipley claimed $94,508 from the taxpayer for limousines and domestic air travel. It's nothing new; in the year ended December 2002 Shipley spent just under $50,000 on domestic air travel and chauffeur-driven cars.

Apparently she also receives up to $40,250 per year in annuities, which do not include international travel and chauffeur-driven cars, even though she spent less than two years as Prime Minister. But who cares about this Parliamentary Services oversight, she's a Dame after all.

In 2008 Shipley was the chairperson of Mainzeal, she sat on the board of its parent company, Richina Pacific. She also chaired Senior Money International, is on the board of Momentum, a local human resources company, and joined the board of China Construction Bank, China's third largest bank. Does she have any spare time to help the Christchurch rebuild, or is this a symbolic appointment designed to look good?

Let's not even mention the large superannuation payments Shipley continues to receive for being an ex PM. It's obvious that she doesn't need the overinflated remuneration package awarded to her by Gerry Brownlee because she's a fellow National hack. But then again; the greedy are always in want.

It would also appear that she is not appropriately qualified for the position. One can only conclude that such obvious corruption is acceptable and probably commonplace within elitist right wing ranks, and that we're likely to uncover a lot more disaster capitalism in the future.