Govt Accused Of Breaking Deal Over Budget Debate

by Desk Editor on Tuesday, May 29, 2012 — 9:58 PM

The Government was accused of breaking a deal over the passage of legislation on Tuesday night prompting a number of indignant speeches from Labour and other Opposition MPs.

The House had been working its way through the 12 hours remaining in the set piece debate that follows the Budget.

At 8.23pm Steven Joyce moved that the debate be adjourned and this passed by 64 to 56 with National Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting.

It then took just a minute to complete a procedural motion to finish the committee stage of the Crown Entities Reform Bill.

The move by National provoked anger from Labour’s senior whip Chris Hipkins who said the Business Committee (a multi-party committee which tries to reach general agreement on the House business programme) had agreed the debate would continue until 9pm.

Hipkins said the move was a breach of good faith and the Government could not expect Labour to now give co-operation on the Commerce Commission (International Co-operation, and Fees) Bill, despite it being agreed to and non-controversial, or on other matters.

Hipkins also had to use his speech to call on his colleagues with expertise in the subject to come to the House to speak to the bill.

Video via In The House

They did come and speeches included David Cunliffe revealing that he once turned down a job at Treasury as he objected to its “monastic’’ worship of Rogernomics, as Labour filibustered the bill which has been around since 2008 and seeks to allow commerce officials to share information across the Tasman.

Debate on the Bill’s second part was interrupted shortly before 10pm.

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