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Hipkins: National's austerity just a 'paint job'

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Chris Hipkins
Chris Hipkins

The National Government reeks of hypocrisy calling on Kiwis to tighten their belts and get used to living without 'nice to haves' while spending hundreds of thousands of dollars flashing up ministerial houses, splashing out on brand new BMWs, and jetting around the world in military planes, says Labour's Internal Affairs spokesperson Chris Hipkins.

"John Key has spent more money re-painting the outside of the Prime Ministerial residence than some people spend buying their whole house," Chris Hipkins said.

"It's a bit rich for him and Bill English to then turn around and say that ordinary Kiwis will have to do without 'nice to haves' like KiwiSaver, Working for Families and interest-free student loans."

Answers to written Parliamentary questions have revealed that National has just spent $187,996.93 repainting the outside of the Prime Ministerial residence and another $30,023.83 painting the fence and sprucing up the garden.

"When presented with repeated examples of the government not practising what it preaches, Mr Key simply shrugs it off and says it's not his decision," Chris Hipkins said.

"What happened to leading by example? Clearly the line-by-line approach to Budget cuts hasn't been applied to National's spending on itself.

"Repeatedly we're seeing more and more evidence of National's 'Simon says' approach to governing. The Government wants hard-working families to do as they say, not as they do.

"As Minister for Ministerial Services, and as the occupant of Premier House, John Key should have cancelled these renovations. He can't exactly claim he didn't notice them!

"John Key clearly seems to think he should be immune from the new era of austerity his government claims we're in. As long as they can do up their ministerial homes, ride around in brand new BMWs, and surround themselves with security guards so they feel important, they don't really care what happens to people in the real world," Chris Hipkins says.

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