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English admits he’s been rorting us

Written By: - Date published: 3:58 pm, September 28th, 2009 - 27 comments
Categories: bill english - Tags:

Bill English has now paid back all the money he rorted from the taxpayer via the ministerial housing allowance during this term of Parliament. Of course, he continues to plead innocence but his actions amount to an admission of culpability and all the other facts tell us he purposely set out to rip us off.

There remains the question of all the money English has taken in past years by claiming his primary residence was in Dipton when, in fact, his primary residence for the bulk of, if not all of, his parliamentary career has been in Wellington. That will be some hundreds of thousands of dollars in total. All money that English was not entitled to.

I see no way in which English can remain in his position. He has breached the trust of the New Zealand public and paying the money back is an admission of wrongdoing, even if it only came as a result of persistent hard questioning from Labour for which he and his colleagues had no answer.

Paying this year’s money back does not make everything OK any more than a fraudster returning some of the money they pilfered absolves them of guilt for their actions.

English deliberately set out to game the system to his maximum advantage to a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money. He purposely changed his financial situation to increase the size of the allowance and created a legal fiction purporting to separate his interests from his family’s home. He denied all wrongdoing until the political pressure became insurmountable and he still refuses to give an open and transparent account of the trust he used to launder the money.

Time for Key to start looking for a new deputy.

27 comments on “English admits he’s been rorting us ”

  1. outofbed 1

    going going….

    • r0b 1.1

      … going to have to answer a lot of questions now.

      Here’s a question – If this money has been paid back from the English family trust, how (as Trevor asks at Red Alert) can that be possible if Bill has no interest in / control over the trust?

  2. Ianmac 2

    However he might claim that the rules were unclear and he acted in good faith. I guess that is what the Labour Party claimed after the 2005 “overspending.”
    What also interests me is the way he or his spokesman Brownlie kept quiet about his (or the Trust) ceasing to claim from July. Why keep quiet?

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “”What I’m announcing today reflects a set of personal decisions I have made about my own situation,” Mr English said.”

    That perhaps his job was worth more than $24k? That if he doesn’t quickly get this controversy under control he wouldn’t have a job any more? I wonder why he decided to give back only $12k at the start of August, but has now ‘personally’ decided he should give back all of it?

    Seems like too little too late, now, with the AG involved. I can’t imagine how the AG could come out with any decision other than against Bill, as Labour and the AG set a clear precedent back in 2001.

  4. snoozer 4

    His spin is so poor I wonder why he bothered.

    “At all times my decisions have been driven by my desire to keep my family together and provide them with as much stability as possible. It’s now clear that the system has struggled to deal with my circumstances.”

    As if it was take $48K or leave the family in Dipton, which the kids have never lived at apart from on holidays.

    • Bill 4.1

      So the system (“It’s now clear that the system has struggled to deal with my circumstances.”) is what is at fault rather than his avarice?


  5. outofbed 5

    Tremendous pressure on the AG though
    This IS the Finance Ministers political future
    It seems to me though that English has tried to get away with this for as long as he possibly could
    .He called the press conference and then went to the meeting with the Ag to grovel.
    I mean really. He has to go and go quickly

  6. snoozer 6

    The way Key quickly followed English’s press release with one of his own saying ‘oh well, issue’s all over now’ reminds me of what happened the day Worth resigned.

    And Key’s made himself unavailable for interview on the matter. I know he’s overseas but that doesn’t make him unavailable. He’s the PM for Gods sake. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0909/S00406.htm

  7. toad 7

    @outofbed 4.25pm:

    Lyn Provost took a lot of flack from National when they were in Opposition and she was Deputy Commissioner of Police. She held firm and did her job professionally. I have no doubt she will continue to do so as Auditor-General.

    But I don’t think English has to go. The prospect of Steven Joyce as Finance Minister is terrifying, and he is the most likely replacement.

    But more importantly, English staying will be actually benefit Labour and the Greens, because his reputation is tarnished beyond redemption. Like Field and Benson-Pope for Labour, the ongoing saga of English’s corruption will continue to eat away at National’s poll ratings.

    Helen Clark should have sacked Field and Benson-Pope at the earliest opportunity once the allegations against them were perceived as having substance. She failed to do so, and that is a very big part of why we have a right wing government today.

    Hopefully, Key will make the same mistake, as English’s corruption will continue to gnaw away at National’s credibility as a government as long as he stays.

    • gitmo 7.1

      Excellent one trougher down several more to go.

      Interested to know what peoples views are on Dunn and Anderton’s troughing as “leaders” of political parties

  8. JohnDee 8

    Time now for a “Pay it back Bill” campaign. The greedy bastard has been ripping us of for years. I estimate in the region of $200.000 dollars.

    Pay it back you thief.

  9. toad 9

    @JohnDee 5:36 pm

    Exactly! I just saw him on OneNews offering to pay back a further $30,000.

    I undersatnd he and his family based themselves in Wellington as of 1996. I’m not sure what the accommodation allowance was then, but at the current rates ($24K per year) it would add up to $288,000. It will presumably be slightly less that that, given the movement in the allowance entitlement over the years, but his offers so far to repay a relative pittance in the context of what he has rorted don’t go down well.

  10. Ron 10

    Media is already signaling they’re going to back off. Espiner tonight -“Labour has to be careful not to bne seen to be hounding English”

  11. outofbed 11

    Yes Espiner seems to think English has done enough to make this go away
    Which was in contrast to Tv3
    Espiner is not the greatest political editor in the world is he?

  12. Tony 12

    So when can we expect to see Aunty Helen pay back the pledge card?

  13. Steve 13

    The other Partys are so transparent?

  14. cocamc 14

    The other MP’s better be careful what they wish for, Bill English paying this back sets a precedent and I’m sure others are going to be looking over their shoulders.

  15. Steve 15

    Te Whare Iti and a kumara pit … yeah right

  16. mike 16

    and the pinko’s rise in united disgust that a tory has done something they could never do – front up and pay up.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      Pay up to make the questions stop you mean.

    • Marty G 16.2

      He’s paid the money back after months and he hasn’t fronted up, he denies any wrong doing

    • Kevin Welsh 16.3

      Don’t you mean the Endeavour Trust Mike? After all, Double Dipton had no pecuniary interest.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.4

      Show me where’s he’s done either of those two things.

      1) $30k != $200k+
      2) According to him its the systems fault and not his own actions.

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