Bill English is going to forgo the extra accommodation allowance he could receive as a Minister and also payback the difference between what he’s received as a Minister and the ordinary MPs’ allowance.
Mr English said no matter how much he explained the circumstances nothing would change the perception that he was getting more than other MPs were entitled to. . .
“So I have decided to deal with perception. I am the Minister of Finance, it is my job to lead by example. So I will be getting in touch with Ministerial Services to pay back the difference between the rate I am on and the other rate going back to the election.”
. . . “I understand this does not look good. It doesn’t really matter what the technicalities are and from my point of view, particularly as the Minister of Finance, that is not a sustainable position.”
Nobody is suggesting he was breaking any rules but he is right about the need to lead by example and accepting the extra money wasn’t a good look.
He’s done the right thing by not only turning it down in future but also repaying the extra he’s already received. In doing so he’s showing that in this administration Honourable isn’t just a title but a description of how Ministers behave.