his ministers are rorting the system – exploiting the allowance not for need but just because it gives them a chance for a bit of free cash:
“In some instances you’ve got ministers moving out of homes where they might otherwise stay there but the rules don’t really encourage that”
So, they’re moving houses simply to take advantage of the system for their personal enrichment.
Yet Key is defending this. Key’s line on this is people on quarter of a million dollar salaries who live in Wellington need another $50K a year otherwise their marriages will break up. It would be laughable if it weren’t so disgraceful. In a similar vein, Key and English have made the ludicrous argument that English’s family would have to go to live in Dipton if he weren’t creaming $50K a year in this allowance. What a load of rubbish. They would stay in Wellington. It’s where they live, where his wife works, where his kids have spent most of their lives.
Now, the Nats are trying to stonewall – ‘let’s wait for the report’. They’re talking about rule changes, including making them offset any rental income from other Wellington property against their allowance claims. That won’t do any good. Given the mindset that these ministers are displaying, which Key seems to have no trouble with. They’ll just stop renting the flats out. There’s something insidious in saying the solution is rule changes. It admits that these ministers are behaving wrongly but doesn’t insist they modify their behaviour voluntarily.
Here’s an idea. Why don’t they just stop ripping us off instead?Why doesn’t Key demand it?
We shouldn’t have to design the rules against every scheme avaricious ministers can imagine. We should have politicians who won’t exploit the loopholes just because they can. We deserve politicians who will obey the spirit of the rules, and have more concern for public service than their bank accounts.
The entitlement mindset that sees ministers exploiting our trust and generosity needs to go. Key should be driving it out.