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Mallard: Come On Kate, Do Your Job And Come Clean

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Trevor Mallard
Trevor Mallard

10 February 2009 - Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson's refusal to give straight answers to any questions in the House today was a staggering performance for a minister, says Opposition Labour spokesman Trevor Mallard.

"Kate Wilkinson repeatedly refused to answer the primary question I put to her today, which was "what will be the gain in real income per week, adjusted for inflation since 1 April 2008, of a full-time worker on the minimum wage, as a result of the Government's decision on the 2009 minimum wage increase?

"Either she doesn't actually know the answer or she's too embarrassed to give it," said Trevor Mallard.

"Either way her response was not good enough and the Speaker agreed.

"Kate Wilkinson then refused to answer questions about consultation with the Maori Party over the issue, after Prime Minister John Key admitted yesterday it didn't really happen.

"I don't know whether you'd call it full consultation we just indicated to them the conclusion that we have reached," Mr Key told the media when asked about consultation with the Maori Party over the issue yesterday.

"It seems Kate Wilkinson also failed to do her job on this front - despite a clear confidence and supply agreement that ministers would consult with the Maori Party over these issues.

"This suggests she has little understanding of the impact decisions made in her portfolio have on those on the minimum wage, among which Maori are disproportionately represented," Trevor Mallard said.

"Kate Wilkinson couldn't even give a straight answer as to why she had initially advised against a minimum wage rise - or perhaps she had simply forgotten.

"Whatever Kate Wilkinson is up to, she needs to realise that she has an obligation to the public to do the job she's being paid to do and answer the questions put to her."

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