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Friday, April 01, 2005

Cullen resigns!

Michael Cullen has resigned:
Dr Michael Cullen is out as Minister of Finance after allegations of financial mismanagement were raised on TV One's Fair Go programme last night.

According to Fair Go's report, Cullen directed Treasury officials to hide higher than expected surpluses by misrepresenting Government financial accounts. Treasury budget analyst Bernard Ebbers said Cullen encouraged staff to dramatically lower the surplus level by incorrectly including the depreciation of long-term assets in the surplus forecasts. Ebbers estimated billions of dollars had been incorrectly removed from surplus calculations.

Prime Minister Helen Clark said early Friday morning that she would not comment until Cabinet is briefed on the full extent of the problem. Progressive leader Jim Anderton has been temporarily assigned the role of Finance Minister.
Cullen resigns after Fair Go report on Treasury scheme.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 4/01/2005 04:54:00 AM


Blogger ZenTiger said...

I heard that he has also been accused of moving some of the funds from his Cullen fund to another, more personal Cullen fund.

It coincided with revelations he was Director of an off-shore company that had received up to 15 million dollars in transfers in the last 6 months.

Coming on the heels of this bombshell, I'm really not surprised.

4/01/2005 08:27:00 AM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

I almost believed it until I saw the date.

4/01/2005 09:40:00 AM  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Now that its after lunch, I believe I need to say "April Fool" just in case Cullen wants to launch a law suit.

However, an excerpt from Yes Prime Minister about the issue of a tax cut possible due to a surplus, is appropriate:

Hacker to Humphrey: The money is not Treasury's, it is the tax payers.

"That is one view", Humphrey acknowledged. "But it is not the view the Treasury takes. Not once they have got their hands on it."

"But if they don't need the money?"

"Taxation", said Humphrey loftily, isn't about what you need. The Treasury does not work out what it needs and then think how to raise the money. The Treasury pitches for as much as it can get away with and then thinks how to spend it. If the government started to give money back just because we didn't need it, we would be breaking centuries of tradition."

4/01/2005 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

I doubt Cullen reads this... but I did move the Schiavo post to Thursday so that no-one thought I was kidding around. Nice photo from Fox.

4/01/2005 01:53:00 PM  

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