The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Steven Joyce to refund to taxpayers the $1,248 taxi trip he charged to his ministerial credit card, as disclosed in the latest Ministerial expense returns released yesterday. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:
“Ministers are supposed to be stewards of taxpayer money. Here, the Economic Development Minister kept a taxi running for nine hours. No one in their right mind would do that with their own money.”
“To put this in perspective, it would have been cheaper for taxpayers had Mr Joyce flown his office intern to Australia and got them to drive a rental.”
“Even CEOs of our largest companies would opt to save 90 percent of this cost and have a staff member call a cab a few minutes before each meeting finishes.”
“Taxpayers wouldn’t waste their money on a taxi waiting in a carpark, why should they have to pay for Mr Joyce to do it? He should pay it back.”
Look, if we can’t trust these bastards to make decisions over taxi fares, then what can we trust them with?
I’m prepared to go out on a limb here and allow Joyce the benefit of the doubt. I’d like to hear his side of things and I am not going to condemn him until I do.
If it does turn out he spent this money for no good reason, then I’ll join in the clamour. Not so much based on the $1248 but because it shows such a degree of arrogance and bad judgment it should preclude him from being a representative of the people.
Voters have to realise that when you allow (or expect) politicians to act as businessmen, then they’re going to do things like this and maybe in the small picture they’re even justified.
The big picture is we do not need govt doing business or in bed with business people. Everything just becomes a dishonest cronyist mire.
So yes, if Joyce did spend this money badly, then its time he quit, but if he didn’t so be it. The big picture is governments should not be involved in generating or participating in business. The whole concept is completely wrong.
What they have to do is get out of the damn way and let businessmen do business.
(BTW, no offence to the Taxpayer’s Union, they’re doing an excellent job.)
Categories: NZ Politics