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Spending cut advocate blows three year budget in one year

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Don Brash
Don Brash

Wellington, July 16 NZPA - A task force calling for extreme cuts to government spending has spent its whole three-year budget to pay its chairman, former National leader Don Brash, in one year.

The Dominion Post reported that Dr Brash was paid $1200 a day to chair the commission, and was budgeted to do eight full days of meetings and preparation in 2009-10 and four days for the following two years. However, Dr Brash was paid four times that -- $39,450 in the first year.

Other members, who were paid $1000 a day, received $34,000 which was $2000 above the estimated budget for 10 meetings.

The task force came in under budget overall after spending only a fraction of its budget on outside experts.

Dr Brash said the cost of his fees reflected the fact that he was working "close to fulltime" on the 2025 report and it would have been "utterly absurd" to expect the task force to complete its work in the four days set aside by the Government.

The task force is working on its second report on how to close the gap with Australia, despite the Government largely dismissing the first report which called for the Government to slash its spending by $9 billion, reform welfare, scrap the NZ Superannuation Fund, raise the pension age, cut subsidies for health and education, and reform employment law.

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