The Coalition Government has made history as the first to vote against a closure motion on its own Bill, as its organisation of Parliament sinks to new lows, Shadow Leader of the House Simon Bridges says.
“Recent scenes in the House border on farce. You have the Government – including senior Ministers - filibustering its own legislation because it has so little for Parliament to debate and wants to avoid the embarrassment of the House being left with nothing to do.
“It even went to the extreme step of voting against several motions to end debate on its own Bill because it so desperately needs to fill time – something so extraordinary the Parliamentary Library cannot find a precedent for it.
“Clearly Parliamentary drafters are still struggling to turn the Government’s intentions into legislation, something the Prime Minister referred to on Monday when she admitted there was a lag in getting bills into the House.
“This was confirmed in today’s Business Statement which said the House will sit under Urgency from next Thursday but only one new Bill was mentioned – cancelling tax cuts which would have seen someone on the average wage $1060 a year better off.
“This leaves the House in the unacceptable position of wasting time on straight-forward legislation – carried over from the previous Government – all so the Government can ram through controversial legislation in the lead-up to Christmas under the cover of Urgency.
“And to top it off the Speaker has reprimanded the Government for failing to adequately answer Written Questions from Opposition MPs.
“When the Deputy Prime Minister is asking for clarification of what is meant by “a meeting” in order to avoid answering a direct question then that’s hardly surprising – and it’s definitely not the transparency that was promised.
“The Coalition needs to get its act together. It’s meant to be running the country but it is struggling just to run Parliament. New Zealanders deserve better.”