Is this another flipflop, a u-turn, a backdown?
National Party MPs might be allowed a conscience vote on a Labour Party bill that proposes lowering the drink-driving blood alcohol limit, Prime Minister John Key said today.If someone can find a principle this government is prepared to stand or fall on, will you please share it with us?
The Government decided last month not to lower the limit from 0.08 milligrams to 0.05 milligrams per millilitre of blood, saying it needed to collect data for the next two years to find out what the effect would be and to demonstrate to the public that a change would be effective.
Labour MP Darren Hughes has drafted a member's bill that proposing lowering the limit to 0.06mg, saying the Government is "dithering" and there is already clear public support for the change.
He asked in Parliament last week, while Mr Key was away, whether the Government would support his bill and Internal Affairs Minister Nathan Guy, answering on behalf of Transport Minister Steven Joyce, accused Mr Hughes of playing politics and said the Government wouldn't support the bill.
However, Mr Key said at his post-cabinet press conference today drink-driving issues were usually dealt with by conscience votes.
"I imagine it would be a conscience vote," he said.