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Source: Taxpayers Union

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union has welcomed the Auditor-General’s challenge for greater transparency in the Government’s COVID-19 response spending. Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “We absolutely agree that more transparency and regular reporting is needed.” “The $62 billion COVID-19 response has seen money allocated to some bizarre projects. There was $50,000 given to an artist to make an ‘indigenised hypno-soundscape’, $72 million spent on horse tracks, and $300 million given to a handful of lucky tourism businesses, such as AJ Hackett Bungy.” “This ad hoc, politically-motivated spending is a recipe for waste and is exactly why the Taxpayers’ Union has promoted an economic response driven by tax relief, instead of handouts.” “When taxpayer money is handed out based on a someone’s ability to fill out a form, rather than actual need, it’s not just wasteful – it’s unfair and potentially destructive. Businesses risk being pushed out of business by those receiving government support. The Auditor-General should speak to some of the businesses that are now struggling even more as a result of the Government’s COVID-19 response.”