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Heatley story full of holes

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, February 26th, 2010 - 84 comments

Ministers don’t resign for describing a trivial expense in a perfectly legitimate way. I’m thinking Phil Heatley really had a crisis of conscience over the credit card ‘misuse’ and wanted to resign but that would have put Gerry Brownlee in the gun too. So they invented the receipt excuse. What’s your theory?

Nats’ sense of entitlement behind credit card abuse

Written By: - Date published: 6:42 am, February 24th, 2010 - 40 comments

Yesterday the Dominion Post caught out National Party Ministers using their taxpayer funded credit cards for personal use. This was a gross betrayal of public trust. Housing Minister Phil Heatley knew what he was doing, but did it anyway. John Key should sack Heatley for turning his nose up at the Kiwi taxpayer.

Key aids English’s latest rort

Written By: - Date published: 4:42 pm, December 8th, 2009 - 18 comments

Ministers are given self-drive taxpayer-funded cars for official business in their electorates (in Wellington they have crown limos at their disposal for official business). Pretty logically, the cars were always based at the ministers’ primary place of residence because that’s where they would need it. But that presented a problem for Bill ‘Double Dipton’ English. […]

Hide repays, what about the others?

Written By: - Date published: 10:14 am, November 9th, 2009 - 20 comments

Earlier this year, John Key stated: “I’ve told [my ministers] if they want to take their partner, they can do it, but they pay for it’. It emerged last week that Rodney Hide, Peter Dunne, David Carter, Phil Heatley and, it is thought, Maurice Williamson and Judith Collins had used taxpayer funds to pay for their spouses’ […]

It’s wrong but I’ll do it anyway

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, November 3rd, 2009 - 24 comments

Just saw this in the SST. Hide on the spousal travel allowance: This perk is wrong, I’ve never agreed with it So why claim it? If you don’t think it’s right, it’s not ethical to do it. ‘Meat is murder, but as you’ve killed the animals anyway…’ I had the opportunity for this trip and […]

The slippery standards of Mr Key

Written By: - Date published: 9:23 am, November 3rd, 2009 - 21 comments

Yesterday, John Key cleverly tried to reframe his ministers’ failure to obey his standards on use of perks: “You don’t want 120 Members of Parliament who have the financial independence to be able to make the financial decisions that I make. “It wouldn’t be the House of Representatives, we need people from all walks of […]

Key OK with ministers’ backdoor perk

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, October 30th, 2009 - 26 comments

I’m sure you noticed Hide’s latest shenanigans – getting his partner taxpayer subsidised international flights despite Key’s directive not to. Key (surprise, surprise) is ‘comfortable’ with this because Hide used Parliamentary not Ministerial funds. Hide was taking a jaunt around London and Toronto to see other ‘Supercities’ close-up (unfortunately, he ignored the lessons). It was a ministerial trip but we paid […]

Nats flying high, on your dime

Written By: - Date published: 3:30 pm, October 29th, 2009 - 16 comments

Why is our agriculture minister spending as much as the Prime Minister on international travel? David Carter has spent $72,000 on international travel in nine months Peter Dunne, Minister of Revenue, has spent $76,000 Judith Collins, $70K. Anne Tolley $79,000. 70-80K each – we’re talking about enough money to buy half a dozen last minute […]

The urgency of love

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, October 23rd, 2009 - 7 comments

One thing about love is that what you abhor or hate in others you tolerate, even admire, in the object of your affection. Take the media’s handling of Parliament going into Urgency. When Labour filibustered over the second Auckland Supercity Bill, there were articles in the newspapers and snide remarks from news commentators about the […]

Toad asks: Who paid for what, Nick?

Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, October 13th, 2009 - 1 comment

Following my post yesterday, toad on g.blog raises some questions about Nick Smith’s expense claims: In the Dompost article, Nick Smith said “I had to spend $152,000 to make [his electoral office, which he owns] usable I don’t dispute that. But who paid the $152,000? Was it Smith personally? Or was at least some of it from a […]

English could learn from the Greens

Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, October 4th, 2009 - 116 comments

The Greens have a superannuation fund. That’s fine. It has investments in a couple of houses. That’s fine. The Green MPs have to rent somewhere to live when they’re in Wellington. They claim the out of town allowance to cover those costs, which is what the allowance is for. So, that’s fine. Three of the […]

Caption Competition

Written By: - Date published: 3:53 pm, October 1st, 2009 - 57 comments

Billalice in Wonderwelly

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 am, September 27th, 2009 - 4 comments

Things must be getting decidedly trippy for Deputy PM Bill English about now, and not in a good way. While his glorious leader is off overseas playing the Jester Statesman, back home Bill’s future is looking gloomier by the day. With the Auditor General looking into English‘s Krishna-like claims of being able to exist in […]

Breaking English

Written By: - Date published: 3:50 pm, September 17th, 2009 - 41 comments

Bill English is not holding up well to the persistent questions put to him in Parliament about shuffling around his financial appearance to rort the taxpayer by claiming $1000 a week in housing allowances. Today, Bill English was stuttering his way through questions put to him by Pete Hodgson. And English again refused to publicly […]

A rort is a rort is a rort

Written By: - Date published: 10:00 am, September 8th, 2009 - 48 comments

And by any other name it smells as bad. John Key has annouced a reform of the rules for ministerial accommodation allowance. A fixed, automatic allowance will now be paid to all out of Wellington ministers of $37,500 a year for their Wellington accomodation (or $30,000 if they own the house), slightly less than the highest spending ministers […]

More questions for English

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, August 9th, 2009 - 77 comments

Yesterday, John Armstrong talked about the Auditor-General’s 2001 report into eligibility for a Wellington accommodation allowance: the then Auditor-General David MacDonald scrutinised allowances after two ministers – Labour’s Marian Hobbs and the Alliance’s Phillida Bunkle – got into serious strife for claiming out-of-Wellington expenses when they had made Wellington their place of residence by virtue […]

English in serious trouble

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, August 6th, 2009 - 70 comments

Over at Red Alert, Trevor Mallard has posted a form that all MPs wanting an out-of-town allowance must fill out. It asks MPs to list their residential address, and asks “Is this residence the place you would normally go to when you are not on parliamentary business?’ If Bill English put down his Dipton farm […]

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