Press Release – New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

The Taxpayers Union is slamming the decision by the Royal Society to use $600,000 of taxpayer money to award a Marsden Fund grant to anti-TPPA campaigner Jane Kelsey to research Neoliberalism.LAW LECTURER GETS $600K MARSDEN GRANT TO PROMOTE FAR LEFT IDEOLOGY

FRIDAY 6 NOVEMBER 2015

The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the decision by the Royal Society to use $600,000 of taxpayer money to award a Marsden Fund grant to anti-TPPA campaigner Jane Kelsey to research “Neoliberalism”.

The grant, made by the panel responsible for social science grants, is for a project entitled ‘Transcending embedded neoliberalism in international economic regulation: options and strategies’.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says, “This is hard-earned taxpayer money, meant for genuine research, being wasted on a project which appears to already have a conclusion. It’s highjacking academic research money to promote far left ideology.”

“The research is apparently about New Zealand’s ‘embedded neoliberalism’. ‘Neoliberalism’ is a term which has come to be used by the far left to mean ‘whatever we don’t like’. It’s used by the likes of Ms Kelsey to make markets and economic freedom sound scary.”

“We’ve asked the Royal Society precisely what Professor Kelsey’s falsifiable hypothesis is. On the face of it, this grant appears to be for research with a predetermined conclusion.”

The criticism comes less than a month after the Taxpayers’ Union publicly supported Ms Kelsey’s work in holding the Government and Ombudsman to account for failing to uphold the Official Information Act. Mr Williams says, “Here at the Taxpayers’ Union we respect the right for any individual or group to champion their political views, even if we disagree with them. But it is completely inappropriate for taxpayers, many of whom do not agree with Ms Kelsey’s work, to be forced to fund her political campaigning.”

“If the shoe was on the other foot and the Taxpayers’ Union received a $600,000 government grant to research academic activism, Professor Kelsey would be rightly outraged.”

ENDS

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