English: ‘the system failed me’

Written By: - Date published: 5:23 pm, September 28th, 2009 - 19 comments
Categories: bill english - Tags:

Just noticed this comment from Bill English on the topic of his housing allowance scam:

“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.”

The arrogance of the man is astounding. Forget the crap about how someone on a senior minister’s salary might have to send the family back to Dipton. What gets me is that he’s caught red handed rorting the taxpayer to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars a year, and all he can bring himself to say is ‘the system failed me’.

Where I come from that’s not an apology, that’s an insult. If you’re truly sorry you man up and take some bloody personal responsibility for your actions.

Really gives an insight into English’s mindset. He’s not sorry he ripped us off, he’s just sorry he got caught.

19 comments on “English: ‘the system failed me’”

  1. So Bored 1

    Its a fair cop guv but societies to blame…..

  2. Red Rosa 2

    Sad to see Bill running the Nixon line.

    Checkers all over again.


    • Dan 2.1

      RR, what a fascinating wikipedia article: all the names in play, whether old hands or some who were to make their name. How history has some interesting intersections and “What ifs”!!
      Somehow I think Bill’s chances are so not so hot. The NACTs do not want the trains to run for a start! Even tonight he still seems to misunderstand the problem.

  3. Tony 3

    Pots and kettles lads

  4. mike 4

    Responding to bad public perception is something labour lacked in spades – good on you bill you’ve taken one for the team.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Hey Bill?

    Roman Polanski rang. He wants his defence back.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    “It’s now clear that the system has struggled to deal with my circumstances”

    Yeah Bill, that’s because the system wasn’t set up to be rorted by thieves like you. It was set up to actually help those MPs who actually do live outside Wellington but need to be there most of the time to do their jobs.

  7. The server is taking the piss!

    My anti spam word is “misunderstanding”. Lynn are you responsible for this? This is the word that Blinglish would use.

    What I was going to say is that Blinglish thinks the system has failed him because he can no longer receive the super duper no questions asked Ministerial accommodation supplement …

  8. Tigger 8

    What’s worse than that excuse are the one’s that didn’t make the cut…

    The devil made me do it.
    It was the boogy man.
    The cat jumped up on the table and did it.
    It was like that when I got here.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time.
    I didn’t think anyone would notice.
    My friends dared me to do it.
    The bulter did it.

  9. ben 9

    Excuse me? What law did this man break? What does he have to be sorry for – earning more than you?


    • He did not earn it.

      We are paying it.

      He has been telling all public servants that they will not get a pay rise in 5 years but reorganises his affairs so that he gets one.

      In the words of John McEnroe

      “You cannot be serious.”

      • Tigger 9.1.1

        So Ben, you’re proud of what English has done? You want this man deciding how to spend your tax dollars?

  10. JohnDee 10

    Diddums to you Ben.
    And i bet he earns more than you.
    Just because it might be legal, doesn’t make it ethical, moral or correct.

  11. SPC 11

    The fact is, there is a systemic problem in the housing allowance eligibility process.

    It has been in a sense been “too easy” for any out of Wellington electorate MP to claim it, even though it has been known (and not hidden) they are based in Wellington. The determination over what makes a person a Wellington based MP (if they are representing an out of town electorate) has not been and is still not secure enough. Ignoring the Trust issue (identity of home ownership), it has been well known that the family of Bill English has been based in Wellington for around a decade. Yet no one had really considered that his eligibility for the housing allowance was in doubt.

    Why has that been so (one is others have been in the same position and were also claiming the allowance) – because even if based in Wellington they still had the cost of maintaining a home in their electorate or temporary accommodation there for their electorate work.

    Which raises the question about whether being based in Wellington is the real issue that should apply.

    Out of town electorate MP’s have a choice of having their families in Wellington and returning alone for electorate duties (possibly to permanent accommodation there, or otherwise using temporary accommodation each time), or having their families remaining in the electorate and going to Wellington alone.

    It is therefor not just an issue to resolve in terms of setting criteria over the “Wellington based” housing expense claims as those based in Wellington will still have electorate housing expenses.

    $500 a week will afford renting an average second family home (and most of the cost of owning a second home if they choose that option), so the emount is not in doubt. Why there should be $600 a week for Ministers (when they have much hiogher pay and most MP’s would work as Ministers for their MP salary if that would get them the job) is unknown.

    But IMO there are two ways to clean up the issue.

    The first is to admit there is no reason for a higher accommodation allowance to a Minister than an MP and they should be treated equally.

    The second is to treat all out of Wellington electorate MP’s the same whether they base in Wellington or not. They should all qualify for the standard housing allowance, but only for up to 10 years.

    Given the opportunity over 10 years to buy a second home with taxpayer help – this would be about right.

  12. Eric C. 12

    Seeing as Bill gave it back because he didn’t do anything wrong – it just looked bad, the Auditor General really needs to investigate this matter to determine exactly what a primary place of residence is.

    I don’t think English had a right to claim taxpayer funds, but this can’t all be swept under the rug because Bill gave the money back this year. What about the last 10 years?

    Remember, Mr Heatley has just turned up with his family and while they are renting I see no problem for them. But Mr Key’s brain fart that will give Heatley $37,500 a year toward the mortgage on a Wellington home he buys could lead him down the English path.

    That is something we should not have to pay for!

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