In the HoS

By coincidence, I’m quoted twice in the HoS this week.

The HoS did a number of stories on MPs expenses, and quotes me:

Kiwiblog’s David Farrar this week acknowledged MPs’ legal entitlement to claim up to $24,000 in Wellington accommodation expenses, but questioned the moral propriety of the way some did it.

In particular, he objected to the practice of MPs using their parliamentary superannuation scheme to buy a house, then renting it back to themselves – allowing themselves to claim $24,000 when their mortgage interest payments would amount to far less. “It’s a conflict of interest, you’re effectively landlord and tenant,” Farrar says.

They also did a story on Paula Bennett.

BENNETT’S SUPPORTERS love her for her Westie chutzpah and outrageous sense of humour – when Labour MP Annette King berated her for giving Grey Power the brush-off, leaving them with an impression that “a loud laugh will solve all the questions put to her”, Bennett emitted a loud laugh.

Says Waitakere Mayor and former Labour Party president Bob Harvey: “The West has taken a shine to her. They like her style; she’s brown and fun and she understands the job. I think they’re prepared to forgive if a person is genuine and good.”

And later on talking about the Rankin appointment:

Kiwiblog’s David Farrar agrees the Halaholo omission was a lapse of judgment, but argues the Rankin omission was valid and even tactical. “It’s probably best not to tell the Prime Minister stuff like that: it’s not relevant, and it also protects him if he’s asked ‘Did he know?’.”

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