“Minister of Revenue David Parker is refusing to answer questions on what he advice he received on ineligible people receiving the errant Cost of Living payment,” says ACT Leader and Finance spokesperson David Seymour.

“The made-for-PR cost of living payment has sprayed money all around the world like a garden sprinkler. Recipients as far-reaching as London and even those who are six feet under have had the payment appear in their bank account.

“ACT has asked Minister Parker through Written Parliamentary Questions what advice he received regarding the targeting of the payment. He said it wasn’t in the public interest to share.

“Considering he potentially knowingly signed off on sending unknown quantities of taxpayer funds overseas, ACT would argue it is very much in the public interest for Parker to reveal what he knew.

“Kiwis deserve better, the Government is spending taxpayers’ money with no regard for the consequences. Treasury told them it would be inflationary to hand out money and they did it anyway. Now they don’t even have the respect to be up front with how much they knew about the poor targeting of the payments.

“We are facing a cost of living crisis and there are families and individuals who are feeling the pinch. If the Government cared about these people as much as they claim to, they would have simply cut taxes.

“It would mean people would keep more of their own money and the Government wouldn’t have spent millions on consultants trying to track down bank account numbers and parachuting money overseas.”

Written Parliamentary Question:

Portfolio: Revenue (Hon David Parker)

Question: What advice and correspondence, if any, has he received regarding ineligible people receiving the Cost of Living Payment, by date and title?

Reply: It is not currently in the public interest to publish the titles.

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David Seymour