- Date published:
7:24 am, August 28th, 2017 - 207 comments
Categories: accountability, superannuation, winston peters, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: newshub, newsroom, scandal, superannuation, winston peters
Newsroom has the story (Melanie Reid and Tim Murphy):
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters took higher superannuation payments than he was entitled to for seven years – while living with his de facto partner – and has been required to pay back $18,000 to the state.
Peters filled out forms when he turned 65 that qualified him for the single person’s superannuation rate, which is about $60 a week higher in this case than a person would receive if declared to be living with a partner, which he was.
Why he didn’t put the error right until last month will be the subject of intense political examination four weeks out from the general election and in a campaign period that has already claimed three party leaders: Andrew Little, Metiria Turei, and Peter Dunne. …
Read on for plenty more detail. There’s an additional twist from Newshub (Lloyd Burr) who was on to the story before it broke:
In the space of 24 hours, Winston Peters has told two different versions of what happened with his pension overpayment. …
Version 1 was the usual Peters bluster and distraction, version 2 was when he came clean and issued this statement:
Some media contacts have called to alert me about a possible story about superannuation.
“From what I can glean it is about the following:
• In early 2010 I applied for superannuation, in the company of my partner, and in the presence of a senior official at the Ministry of Social Development.
“In July of this year, I was astonished to receive a letter from the Ministry to advise there was an error in my superannuation allowance and a request that I meet with them.
“I immediately contacted and met the area manager of MSD.
“It was unclear on both sides how the error had occurred leading to a small fortnightly overpayment.
“Suffice to say, we agreed there had been an error.
• Within 24 hours the error and overpayment had been corrected by me.
• I subsequently received a letter from the area manager thanking me for my prompt attention and confirming that the matter was concluded to the Ministry’s satisfaction.
“I am grateful to the Ministry for their courtesy and the professional and understanding way they handled this error.
“Like the Ministry I believed the matter had been put to rest.”
Peters may be completely innocent of any wrongdoing. His problem is that it is difficult to believe that an expert on superannuation did not realise that he was receiving the wrong payment (for seven years) and that the timing of his resolving the issue and paying it back (during the media circus around Metiria Turei) is suspicious to say the least.
Update: Peters denies details and the $18,000 figure
Presumably this was Tim Murphy’s #MotherOfAllScandals. Somewhat over egged?
Turns out those who said this mad election had one more explosive convulsion to come weren't wrong. Could be soon. #motherofallscandals
— Tim Murphy (@tmurphyNZ) August 26, 2017
— Bryce Edwards (@bryce_edwards) August 27, 2017
Mr Peters says any parallel with the Metiria Turei case is "baseless" and "demonstrably false". https://t.co/jONHA1iyIP
— Morning Report (@NZMorningReport) August 27, 2017