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Media release from the Taxpayers' Union

MEDIA RELEASE

TREASURY TO CORRECT MISTAKE IN BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS DISCOVERED BY THE TAXPAYERS’ UNION

23 MAY 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Taxpayers’ Union is breathing a sigh of relief that budget documents appropriating spending of nearly $2.4 billion on the New Zealand sheep industry were a mistake by Treasury.  For context the amount is just shy of the total money spent on Education.

Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says, “In reviewing the budget estimates, one of our researchers pointed out that Primary Industries appropriation for the New Zealand Sheep Industry was an extraordinary 644 times bigger than the previous year."

Treasury’s estimates suggest that last year’s $3.3 million appropriation is increasing to $2,360.9 million, or $2.4 billion. The documents were distributed to media and analysts in the Budget lock-up.

“We went straight to the Minister of Finance's office who confirmed that the amount is a mistake, and that as a result of the Taxpayers’ Union bringing it to the Government's attention, an erratum will be issued.” 

More details about the error are available at www.taxpayers.org.nz.

ENDS

ENQUIRIES:

Jordan Williams
021 762 542

NOTES TO EDITORS:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is a non-partisan activist group, dedicated to being the voice for Kiwi taxpayers in the corridors of power. It’s here to fight government waste and make sure New Zealanders get value for money from their tax dollar.

The Taxpayers’ Union operates a 24 hour media line for comment on taxpayer issues. Representatives are available on (04) 282 0302.

High resolution images and logos are available on request or online at http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/pages/resources