The glovebox in the stock agent’s car was full of petrol vouchers.
The friend who saw them there asked why so many. The agent without a blush said, he’d bought them on the company petrol card.
Misuse of cards isn’t confined to ministers and Michelle Boag has just made a very good point on Q&A – it comes down to character.
Some people are mean and will claim every cent to which they are entitled and more, others won’t claim anything, most will err on the side of caution when making legitimate claims.
Some people have left comments wondering about Helen Clark and Heather Simpson. Any regular reader will know that I am not a fan of either of them but I will be very surprised if there is anything untoward on their cards. Labour under Clark was very good at spending taxpayers’ money on policies to help other people who may or may not have needed it, but she was not personally extravagant.
The only thing that’s been commented on her card so far is a $19 pair of gumboots. That’s very cheap, the last pair I bought cost around $100.
People who misused their cards deserve the opprobrium being heaped on them but it wasn’t every minister who did and some of the expenses being queried are legitimate.
If people are running the country and travelling the world as part of their duties we can’t expect them to stay in backpackers and eat at street stalls.
I might also accept them putting everything on the minsiterial card and including a cheque for personal expenses when they sent receipts.
But given some can’t be trusted it would be better to leave them to pay on their own cards then claim back legitimate expenses.