Today in politics: Wednesday, December 5

Last updated 05:00 05/12/2012

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Politics

PM Bill English tries to put a bad week behind him by promising tax cuts Politicians sidestep campaign spending limits with billboards on public land Oscar Kightley: Why Bill English is as nimble as a Team New Zealand yacht Jonathan Milne: Stay away from my burger – the ban on medium-rare meat takes government intrusion too far David Slack: Let's not overestimate the influence of terror Stacey Kirk: Self-inflicted body-blows is National's biggest threat in an election-year Politicians turn to books, knitting and horses to bring in the votes Election 2017: A politician at my table Kiwifruit growers ready themselves for courtroom showdown with Government Nadine Higgins: How young is too young when it comes to politics?

Carter coy on taking on Speaker's role

He might be first in line for the Speaker's chair, but Primary Industries Minister David Carter wasn't overly enthusiastic about it yesterday.

Quizzed by reporters, he would only say: "I've had some discussions with the PM ... no, I haven't put my hand up. Those discussions are ongoing." Asked if it was a job he'd like, he said: "I'll decide that as we develop the discussion." There was "always more to do" in Primary Industries, he said.

PM mum on visiting US intelligence staff

Prime Minister John Key is refusing to reveal which United States spy flew into Wellington last week. He confirmed "a number" of US intelligence officials were in the country to meet our spooks but stopped short of saying who was on the US Air Force jet spotted parked at the airport.

"I could make a wild guess ... but I don't know. I'm not their travel agent." He said the Government did not talk about who attended security meetings.

Collins to attend launch to fight online child abuse

Justice Minister Judith Collins will be at the launch of the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online in Brussels today. Ministers from 47 countries are participating and will commit to policy targets to identify and protect child victims. They will report back in two years.

Ms Collins says a "global approach" is needed because "online sexual abuse of children knows no borders and child pornography circulates easily across countries".

Taxpayers' cash funds trans-Tasman job hunt

Labour MP Jacinda Ardern says Work and Income is using the Transition to Work grant to pay for beneficiaries' passports and flights to take up job offers in Australia. Social Development Minister Paula Bennett said she would be "very unhappy to see that as common practice".

It had been made clear to Work and Income managers "that they should not be paying for any airfares overseas, and, as far as I have seen to date, I do not have evidence of that".

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- The Dominion Post

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