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Key aids English’s latest rort

Written By: - Date published: 4:42 pm, December 8th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: national/act government, parliamentary spending - Tags: , ,

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. Because his primary place of residence is not actually where he lives. He says he is based in Dipton when in fact he and his family live in Wellington and rarely visit Dipton. The reason for the facade? Simple: money; our money. By pretending he lived in Dipton, English was able to claim $48,000 a year from we, the taxpayers, for the cost of his Wellington accommodation under the allowance for out of town ministers. A mammoth rort that would have gotten any other minister in any other government fired in a heartbeat.

Not only has John Key not fired English, we now learn that he has given English and other ministers another loophole to exploit.

See the problem with English claiming his primary place of residence is Dipton is, by the old rules, that meant his self-drive car had to be in Dipton too where he would rarely use it. If he acknowledged Wellington was his primary residence, he could have the car there but not get the accommodation money. Having a free car where English actually lives, rather than in Dipton, would worth a few grand a year but that was far outweighed by the money he was rorting out of his family home. But what’s the point of being a Tory in government if you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Key changed the rules so that the self-drive car no longer has to be based at the primary place of residence. Hey presto! English gets to claim he lives in Dipton and take the accommodation cash while simultaneously having the free car meant for use in his electorate.

David Oughton, head the of Remuneration Authority says this “may be of significant benefit to some members”. We know it’s Double Dipton grabbing another fistful of our money for himself.

18 comments on “Key aids English’s latest rort ”

  1. Jim McDonald 1

    I wish those in power would stop coming up with 101 ways to characterise a rort.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    AS the Herald reports..
    “In May of this year it was bought to my attention there were about 11 ministers who had a self-drive car that at certain times was in Wellington,” he said.

    So they were breaking the rules allready, so he told them to cease and desist?
    Not bloody likely

    “So on a practical basis I decided to make that change. I think it saves the taxpayer money. I think it makes sense”

    I Think … I think…. I think I will let them get away with it !


  3. snoozer 3

    worse than getting the rules changed, English and co were simply ignoring them and had their cars in Wellington already. The rules were changed to retrospectively (cf burt) accommodate them.

  4. Terry 4

    Hay guys mountain out of a mole hill…ministers have always had self drive cars and untill a few years ago when a minister was caught drink driving in hers ministers would ofton drive themselves around town while they were in wellington.

  5. Rex Widerstrom 5

    Slowly my master plan is coming to fruition.

    It surely won’t be long before I can run for election, claim Australia as my primary place of residence, get given a Lear jet so I can pop home, and then set up an LCD screen on my bench and Skype in my infrequent speeches (when I’m not busy pursuing my own business interests using my Ministerial business card).

    • Tim Ellis 5.1

      You will have to get elected first Mr Widerstrom, which you weren’t very successful at achieving last time.

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1

        Bit bitchy, Tim!

        At least Rex has given it a crack and, I presume, took the rejection on the chin. Would you care to enlighten us regarding the elections you have successfully contested?

      • Rex Widerstrom 5.1.2

        Once, Mr Ellis, in 1993, in a safe National seat of Hamilton West where I drew enough votes from National to let Dianne Yates win for Labour*, despite standing for a party (NZ First) which had only been formed that year and about which very little was known.

        And when National’s roadshow came to town there were more Ministers on stage than there were people in the audience, whereas I drew 600 people to hear me speak at a public meeting that went for for 3 1/2 hours. How many people do you think your beloved Mr Key could get along to hear him meander and waffle? (And how many would still be awake at the end?).

        * Now if you want to berate me for something, I suggest you berate me for that. Facilitating Dianne Yates being able to warm a seat in Parliament should, IMHO, be a flogging offence.

        [I was down as a candidate in Ohariu-Belmont in 1996 with a view to paying for my sins re Yates by toppling Dunne, but alas The Great Purge of the Non Believers went through NZ First before election day and I was de-selected].

  6. vto 6

    true eddie? if so, it just smells. what the fuck are these coozers doing?


  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Tory governments – rorting the taxpayer for personal benefit a speciality along with giving their mates billions of taxpayer dollars so that they don’t have to change with the times.

  8. Monty 8

    be careful here – I understand several Labour Ministers had their self drive cars in Wellington. Those in glass houses ….

    besides there is another reason why this is a sensible rule change – surely it is way cheaper to use a self drive car than the ministerial limo all the time as he could otherwise do.

    But really you (and Hodgson) just seem so petty when you go on about this.

    • zelda 8.1

      No the limo is for official business only. Picking they kids from school , they can use their OWN car like everybody else. Plus they use taxis all the time anyway. Limos have to be ordered so generally they are only used for functions you aware of in advance . Key would be the only one to have a limo on call for his use only.

    • Craig Glen Eden 8.2

      Monty the issue is not the car its the fact that the car should be at the primary residence English lied to rort the system, assisted by Donkey. Do you get it or are you really trying that hard not to.

      This is classic Tory operating, they couldn’t earn it themselves in business they just take it from the working folk, real nice white collar criminals.

      This lot are unbelievable when the hell will the money grabbing stop.

  9. Tanya 9

    Not as big as the climate change rort.

  10. Macro 10

    The man has no shame! 🙁
    As for the climate change rort – no you are right there – the big polluuters stand to rort the tax payers for billions courtesy of Bill et al.

  11. Scribe 11

    I would have thought that if ministers were entitled to a self-drive car, they should be able to choose where that car is based.

    Brownlee summed it up succinctly — this issue has “bugger all relevance”.

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