Heather du Plessis Allan: Hipkins' comment exposes Labour's lax approach to our money

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Sat, 15 May 2021, 10:05AM
Education Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Education Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Heather du Plessis Allan: Hipkins' comment exposes Labour's lax approach to our money

Author
Heather du Plessis-Allan,
Publish Date
Sat, 15 May 2021, 10:05AM

Something that’s really been bugging me in the last few days was a comment that Chris Hipkins made. 

You know this business about the huge number of schools lunches that are wasted? 

David Seymour quite rightly called it irresponsible that no one is counting the number of lunches that go uneaten.

And to that, Chris Hipkins got smart and said ‘“If David Seymour wants to be the lunch monitor in every primary and secondary school he's welcome to do that.” 

Well, actually, I would like someone to know how much is being wasted.

We are putting $221 million taxpayer into this. That’s a lot of money. 

Don’t you think Hipkins’ comment betrays an attitude? 

A kind of devil-may-care approach to spending hundreds of million dollars of our money. 

This is exactly why Labour struggles with the holistic perception that they just fritter away taxpayer dollars.

It’s because of attitudes like this.

They’re so desperate to convince us that they are good with money, that’s why they froze the pay of all nurses and teachers and police and so on.

But that is not going to convince us of anything, when we constantly see examples of completely careless spending. 

And we’ve seen a lot of it in the last nearly four years.

$3 billion thrown carelessly at the provincial growth fund to buy Winston’s affection, with a negligible number of jobs created.

Is it $14 billion into the wage subsidy scheme, which is a good scheme, but no real chasing and auditing to make sure people who shouldn’t’ have taken the money didn’t. Even the Auditor General called them out for that sloppiness this week.

And $100 million for marae upgrades that were supposed to create 3000 jobs but only created 158. 

This is the attitude I really object to.

And I’m sorry, but as long as Labour ministers like Chris Hipkins just don’t care whether our money is wasted in uneaten school lunches, as long as that happens, Labour will be perceived to be the party that just throws cash away.

Pay freeze the nurses all you like, that perception will stick, because it’s warranted.