An MP could own a flat in any other city but Wellington and claim the allowance for living away from home and no-one would call it a rort.
It is within the rules to own a flat in Wellington and claim the living away from home allowance but it’s not a good look.
That’s why Bill English not only paid back anything he’d claimed – well within the rules – and no longer claims anything which means he forgoes a not inconsiderable amount of money.
In spite of that Labour take any opportunity to pillory him over this.
The trouble is if you attack someone over the speck in his/her eye you have to be sure there’s not a log in your own – and there is a rather large one in Phil Goff’s:
Labour leader Phil Goff is still collecting rent from his Wellington apartment while pocketing a taxpayer allowance to live in another place, even though he promised last year to sell the apartment.
Mr Goff has owned the property for years and has been letting it since he was a minister in the previous government, when he was living in a ministerial house. Last year he promised to sell the apartment while strongly criticising Deputy Prime Minister Bill English for his perceived double-dipping.
The difference between the two is that Bill was acting on advice within the rules, concentrating on running the country with no idea that it was going to be a problem and as soon as it became one he acted at considerable ongoing cost to himself.
Phil not only knew there was a problem, he said he’d do something about it while not doing anything and continuing to criticise Bill.
It is within the rules, it isn’t a rort but it’s a very, very bad look and it’s also a fine example of hypocrisy.
Kiwiblog gives more backgroudn and questions Goff’s judgement.
Whaleoil asks is this the last nail?
Monkey with Typewriter says: Just fix the f**n shower Phil.