The NZ Herald has this morning run an article about Hamilton's Mayor, Julie Hardaker, spending $91,000 last year to run her office. As is expected, the list of expenses were scrutinised by those, one assumes, who could not be counted as being among her supporters, and the entrails published in the media with the to be expected remarks of outrage. The expense items of outrage included the cost of an airport lounge membership ($994.78), and an office chair – a $1,257 chair to be more precise.
While I am not too bothered with the extent of the items generally, a comment made by the Mayor does reflect the essential problem with politicians (and others) who spend other people’s money on their own little indulgences.
(OK the chair seems excessive given I happened to be looking at some the other day while purchasing paperclips and pencils – the prices ranged from about $80 for a basic one to $500 for the throne type chairs.)
When talking about the $1,257 chair, which one imagines to be a very large throne indeed, Mayor Hardaker is reported to have said she had been unaware of the price, "I just tried some chairs and that one looked good".
Well there you have it. Politicians running amuck with the public purse, buying stuff without even looking at the price tag. Would they do that if it were THEIR money they were spending? No wonder local and central government is so heavily indebted.