The Finance Minister will host a farewell function for the Secretary of Treasury this evening despite being unable to express confidence in him, National’s Finance spokeswoman Amy Adams says.
“Mr Robertson was unable to express confidence in Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf in Parliament today after the Secretary’s indefensible behaviour during budget week.
“The Secretary publically and repeatedly claimed that Treasury’s website had been hacked, even though he had been told by the GCSB that was not the case, referred the matter to Police without the evidence to do so and sat on the Police’s rejection of the matter for 12 hours before making it public.
“Mr Makhlouf handled this entire situation appallingly. Even though he was already planning to leave the Treasury, it is untenable for him to continue to hold the role. Instead of asking for his resignation, the Finance Minister is putting on drinks and nibbles and wishing him well.
“The Finance Minister also continues to have significant questions to answer in this matter.
“Why did he fail to ask the right question of Mr Makhlouf before himself endorsing the Treasury’s statement and smearing National and why did he failed to correct the record when he quickly found out there had been no hack.
“Gabriel Makhlouf continued to state publically that a hack had taken place even though he knew it hadn’t. Mr Robertson sat on a lie for 36-hours after he found out that the hack never happened. It’s entirely inappropriate that the taxpayer is now paying for a farewell function this evening.”