Bill pays back allowance

September 28th, 2009 at 4:21 pm by David Farrar

has just announced:

  1. He will not take up any housing allowance in future
  2. He has not received an allowance since 28 July while the situation was clarified
  3. He has reimbursed Ministerial Services for all of the housing allowances he has received since the election

Also he has a legal opinion from Stephen Kos QC that the changes to his family trust did not in any way affect his eligibility for the Ministerial housing allowance.

Bill has said:

“What I’m announcing today reflects a set of personal decisions I have made about my own situation. It is in no way setting a precedent for others although I make the point here that I believe Parliament does have to think how it can accommodate the families of long-term politicians.

“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.

“This has been an unnecessary distraction. I now want to move on and focus on building our economy and ensuring that New Zealanders have jobs.

As I have said, the perception is often more powerful than the reality. I think it is clear Bill English had complied with the rules, but the perception is that he was rorting the system so he has done what is necessary to close the issue down.

I lok forward to the same level of scrutiny on the Greens renting of houses owned by their superannuation scheme to themselves, to maximise the taxpayer subsidy. They have done exactly what Mallard accused Bill of – using a trust or fund to maximise eligibility. If they owned the properties in their own names, they would only be eligible to claim the interest off any mortgage.

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117 Responses to “Bill pays back allowance”

  1. tautokai.baxter (162 comments) says:

    At least the Greens are transparent.
    It’s taken English long enough.

    [DPF: The Greens are not transparent. We do not know how much their super trust is making from renting their houses back to themselves]

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  2. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Guilty as Charged!

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  3. dad4justice (8,222 comments) says:

    “At least the Greens are transparent.”
    Just like the jellyfish.

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  4. tautokai.baxter (162 comments) says:

    What a witty comment. They are, their the most transparent Party in NZ politics, it was their transparency that led to MP’s disclosing their expenses. Big ups to them.

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  5. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Obviously this is the act of a guilty man who has been caught out stealing from taxpayers and telling lies about it.

    An honest man would simply have ignored it.

    Now he can go back to taxing his hardworking, productive constituents to pay for Auckland motorways and welfare for Maoris.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  6. menace (402 comments) says:

    I he has taken money unlawfully then this is fraud and he should be convicted for a crime.
    If our leaders get away with cheating then what eg does this set for me, you and others????

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  7. jcuknz (704 comments) says:

    I’m sorry for the guy and disgusted that the whinging petty nitpickers have forced a political descision on him … it is shameful.

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  8. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    The Auditor General has work to do yet. We’re all ears and eyes.

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  9. 2boyz (262 comments) says:

    Bill has done something the left would never do, pay back money and pay back money he doesn’t legally have to. Crap situation to be in but time to move on (nothing to see here).

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  10. frog (84 comments) says:

    In the scenario where the Green’s super fund doesn’t own the houses, they (and the taxpayer) will keep paying a market rent for out of town MPs.

    [DPF: That avoids the issues. By vesting the properties in the Super Fund they Green MPs gain a much greater benefit than if they owned the houses directly]

    It doesn’t matter who owns the house if the MP is an out-of-towner with a primary residence elsewhere.

    [DPF: Wrong - it does. If the MP owns it, they can claim interest only. By doing it through the super fund the Green MPs gain far more financially]

    This is very different than English who is clearly a resident of Wellington, in part to keep his family together, which is laudable.

    [DPF: I believe an Mp should not lose eligibility just because their family choose (at their own expense) to move to Wgtn to have more time with them.

    What you are arguing David, is that the Greens shouldn’t take their own super management into their own hands, and should rely on the state?

    [DPF: I am suggesting the Greens Super Fund should not also be the Greens landload when the taxpayer is footing the bill]

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  11. Alistair Miller (500 comments) says:

    Elijah (4.32 pm) Thumbs down, and thumbs up for your comment. He hasn’t been caught stealing from the taxpayers. I suspect the A-G’s investigation will result in a report that says “Nothing to see here. Move along.” English knows the whole issue is just white noise and he’s trying to shut it down. There is clearly something wrong with the way the rules are set up (witness the greens’ maximising the return through their Super Fund). At least English has done what the left would never do, and admitted (as a minimum) the perception is wrong, so he’s paid the money back.

    Now as you say, the gummint should get back to its core business of taxing the productive sectors of the economy to pay for gridlock in Auckland and welfare for maoris.

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  12. mike12 (183 comments) says:

    Kudos to Bill. This is the difference between labour and the Nats – The red faction would have bombarded the media (via leaks) with the names of all other MPs doing a similar thing as distraction hoping for a cross party smear to take the heat off – Bill has sensed the public mood and acted to fix the perception even though in reality it was above board.

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  13. dimmocrazy (286 comments) says:

    I am very worried that this may also mean an end to the movement for more openness. What we really need is to see the books, in detail, up to date, for every MP and online. Only then will we get an idea who is above board and who isn’t. All we have now is inuendo and allegations, sunlight please!

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  14. Onehunga (8 comments) says:

    It seems that a lot of the criticism of English stems from the fact that the vast majority of NZers do not have the foggiest idea when it comes to the basics of trust law.

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  15. Rufus (667 comments) says:

    Good on Bill. Bit of a sticky situation he was in – damned if he did, damned if he didn’t.

    I don’t have a problem with him claiming the allowance – those were the rules. I have a problem with those picking on Bill (who didn’t do anything wrong) while conveniently ignoring other rorts and injustices (Ie Green fund, and Labour ripping off NZ and then passing legislation to prevent them getting in trouble for it…basterds).

    At least Bill has some honour. Even is he did nothing wrong and it’s just cost him a lot of money.

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  16. projectman (224 comments) says:

    Right, it’s now time for someone to get stuck into the perceived rorting by the Greens. This should now be referred to the Auditor-General Lyn Provost to investigate. If Jim Anderton’s complaint about Bill English is worth investigating, so is this.

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  17. Elijah Lineberry (306 comments) says:

    Cannot help being somewhat astounded at the “At least he is not as bad as Labour”/”Our crooks are better than your crooks” attitudes of so many people.

    There is right. There is wrong.

    There is integrity. There is no integrity.

    There is a smarmy attempt to get away with it. There is no attempt to do it in the first place.

    I would have thought that upstanding, well bred, decent members of society (as many National party activists on Kiwiblog consider themselves to be) would take a slightly different approach to this matter; the “okay chaps let’s have mass posting from our rapid response team to compare Bill with the Labour party” routine is pathetic and unworthy of you.

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

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  18. Grizz (244 comments) says:

    To be fair, Bill English holds an important Cabinet post and needs to be in Wellington for longer periods of time than in Dipton. While he should work hard at his job, there still needs to be some balance in life and he does need to have time with his Kids, at least for the sake of his Kids. I feel that it is appropriate that Cabinet Ministers in the same position that Bill English finds himself in should be able to bring his large family to Wellington.

    That said, the rules need to be altered to accommodate Cabinet Ministers. Fair enough, in spite of existing rules, Bill English appears as if he has his snout in the trough. My understanding is that he was entitled to more than the average MP as he was unable to use the assigned DP residence as the Governor General was occupying it. Foolishly Bill English took it to the full extent. Had he only claimed the full $26,000 limit of other MPs he would have got away with it. Because of his foolishness, he gets nothing. What really needs to happen is a reversal of situations effect. If a cabinet Minister’s family are using Wellington as a primary residence (a good indication is the school kids are enrolled) then the secondary residence would be in that person’s electorate from where they were elected from. (With List MPs, this becomes blurred, but as a rule if Wellington is their primary residence, then they should not have a housing allowance as they have no electorate to serve.)

    Personally, I would have a collection of parliament owned flats and houses, loosely apportioned according to need and ranking in Wellington, then all the fuss over MPs housing allowances can be eliminated. However, some reluctant credit to Bill English, but the only way he can now redeem himself is to change the rules, coming up with family friendly solutions and clamping down on the rort which has become MP allowances. It is hard to give attention to someone who talks about cutbacks, wage freezes when he appears to be in power just to line his own wallet.

    However, if only other members of Parliament and former government members pay back some of the money they rorted from the taxpayer. I will not expect Chris “It’s just because I’m gay” Carter to speak out very loudly on this issue.

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  19. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “There is integrity. There is no integrity.”

    Yeah? That right? Where’s the integrity in this vicious cowardly and untrue smear.

    “Obviously this is the act of a guilty man who has been caught out stealing from taxpayers and telling lies about it.”

    You make a habit of running around all over the net laying such false allegations against all and sundry. This is not “integrity” and you if you ever had any moral base yourself, should be ashamed to mention the word.

    Bill English is a decent family man and did the right thing even when he did not have to and deserves credit for that.

    He is not “guilty”, has not been convicted of “stealing”, and he has not “lied”. These allegations are all false. If they weren’t, English would have beeen charged tried and convicted by now.

    (and stop hawking you’re nowhere blog. Integrity??? Pffft, you’re light years from the concept)

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  20. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    I think Bill English is genuine in trying to hold his family together and move them all to Wellington. The children were educated there his wife works there. The connection with the electorate in fact was rather minimal. The parliamentary allowance system did not deal with this very clearly but I am quite confident Bill English acted within the rules. But the perception is different and Bill has dealt with that situation. There are other MPs including Mr Mallard who seems to spend quite a bit of his time in Taupo which is rather convenient for him personally. That needs to be looked at. And the Greens who have been strangely silent on this have set up a very complex structure maximising their draw of public money. And there will be other examples I am sure.

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  21. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    oh look..!..all the rightwing commenters have returned..?

    where have they been..?

    are they back now..’cos they have been given their ‘script’..?

    clearly..it’s an admission of guilt from english..

    so..when was the cut-off date..?

    when exactly in the last ten years..did bill cross that line…and become ‘ineligible’..?

    (given he concedes he is not eligible now..)

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  22. Angus (536 comments) says:

    (and stop hawking you’re nowhere blog. Integrity??? Pffft, you’re light years from the concept)

    C’mon RB, there’s some great stuff in there. Like this:

    http://nightcitytrader.blogspot.com/2009/09/before-election.html

    ROTFLMAO !

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  23. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    The socialists are really gutted that the minister has done something that they would never do and if the A G had come out with a ruling that didn’t suit them they would legislate to fix it so fast it would blur. Poor old Trev The Mus will have to use retrospective arguments now to get any mileage out of it. I received the bash over at red rag last week for politely suggesting that the issue would be best left to the A.G. I am sorry that Mr English has had to take a hit but good on him for doing it.
    Will Trev and the spineless MSM go after the Greens, Mr Anderton, or any of their own for similarly questionable activities, I think not.

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  24. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Your on to him Angus just check out Lineshooters crappy blog. It gets a bit more traffic than phils but not much so what does the little prat do——why yes folks you guessed it he comes to the best blog in NZ (possibly the world) to try and up the ante.

    why else would this be in every post he makes:

    http://www.nightcitytrader.blogspot.com

    Just ignore the whanker.

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  25. jabba (280 comments) says:

    this should have died weeks ago or at least taken to the AG straight away for a legal opinion. The Muss and Pete Hodgson have kept it going as a points scoring project .. they should stick to dancing together.
    There has been mention of morals and ethics .. oh please, there wouldn’t be too many labour MP’s left if that was a factor (fighting/DIC/lying to the house etc .. those 3 alone are still there).
    Good on you Bill, you did what he didn’t have to do and paid back money that is yours and stopped further payments you are intitled to.

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  26. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “C’mon RB, there’s some great stuff in there.”

    Uuuuuuuurggghh..!!!*&^%$#@)(&%$ :)

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  27. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    I don’t care about this. What I do care about is Bwadford’s departure causing the Gweens numbers to plummet. The Gweens – it’s always been about power for them. English’s improprieties does little more than distract the Gween faithful from their upcoming implosion a la the Alliance.

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  28. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Oh dear! Bill’s been nabbed, hands in the till! Look! Over there, something green!!!!

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  29. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    ” The Muss and Pete Hodgson have kept it going as a points scoring project .. they should stick to dancing together.”

    Trev does his best dancing horizontally and in Taupo (hopefully not with Pete ——though you never can tell). :)

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  30. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    These excessive allowances are legally right and morally wrong. Bill English has done the moral thing and that should be the end of vendetta against him by the left wing media….That media should now turn their attention to James ANDERTON who may also be legally right and morally wrong in pretending that he is leading a party separately from Liabour. He should show the same strength of character and pay back the over $100,000 per annum he is receiving by his pretence. Likewise the homosexual Liabour ex Education Minister who was swanning around the world with his paramour en tow on the pretence that it was somehow to the Nation’s benefit, though in his case a moral outlook may be difficult to attain.

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  31. jabba (280 comments) says:

    and yes Philpoo, I have been away in Wanganui for the past 4 days making sure the H is kept in a box somewhere.
    Poor us aye Gravedoger, I was banned for trying to offer advice as well .. no swearing, no saying defamatory things about people but they just don’t want to know what non Labour supporters think which is why they lost the last election and likely the next 1 or 2.

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  32. david (2,557 comments) says:

    To all those crying for transparency, how far do you want to take it?

    I will wait with bated breath for the screams of inequality because one MP takes taxpayer funded milk and sugar in his coffee and therefore gets more than the MP who takes his coffee black. I demand that MP’s coffee intake is monitored and published hourly to ensure that everthing is transparent and in the sunlight of the public gaze.

    FFS look at yourselves and consider that if you really want to “stand on principle” and demand transparency yopu might actually get more than you ask for and the cost to the rest of us will be considerable.

    And no “dimmocrazy” and others, I will not permit you to draw the line on what is “worth exposing and what is not” Once you have taken the principle on board you can’t retreat that easily.

    I didn’t think I would ever say it but to quote philu “feckin idjits”

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  33. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I would love to know more about the Taupo thing .. talk about affairs .. does she ride a bike as that explain Trevs buring need to get fit .. mid life crisis i say

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  34. david (2,557 comments) says:

    backster,
    we might have to agree to disagree about the question of what is excessive. You would do well to state it as your opinion because IMHO it is not a fact.

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  35. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Bill (bad greens!) pays (bad greens!) back (bad greens!) allowance (bad greens!)

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  36. calendar girl (1,236 comments) says:

    The English matter is now dead, despite partisan political slants put on it. However, very much still alive are:
    (a) the Greens’ game of being their own landlord at taxpayers’ expense behind a facade of arms-length lease arrangements; and
    (b) Anderton’s milking of the public purse as a “party leader” whose phantom party is now a mere feeder club for Labour.

    I look forward to the Auditor-General investigating and reporting on these contrivances.

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  37. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Now all we need is for all the WFF recipients here to pay it back because it is not a good look quite apart from them meeting the qualifying criteria, ‘cmon, out yourselves bloggers, and gee, what is good about philu accepting a benefit for years and years in spite of being quite capable (well that might be a bit of an exaggeration) of driving a computer keyboard. Pay it back phil!

    pot, kettle etc,

    Sauces – goose, gander and so on!

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  38. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    hilarious the knots you are all tying yourselves in..

    trying to defend the indefensible..

    (and ..redbaiter has done a smiley-face..why does that ‘scare’ me..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  39. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    Once again, David, you’ve got it completely wrong on this issue.

    The reality is that English and Key have been telling us we’re in a recession and we have to tighten our belts. So where’s the leadership been from them? Why haven’t they led by example? Instead English, the second highest paid MP, has been receiving taxpayer handouts on the basis that he’s “entitled” to them. Note that he doesn’t need the handouts, just that he believes he should get them. The fact he has said no to any more handouts suggests he can live quite well without him. Why he didn’t come to this decision much sooner is unclear. Maybe 9 years in opposition failed to prepare him for the responsibility of government.

    I sincerely hope other Ministers and MPs look at this issue and ask themselves: do I need to rely on taxpayer handouts?

    [DPF: They have reduced the cost of Min Accom by around 37%]

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  40. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    suggests he can live quite well without them.

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  41. menace (402 comments) says:

    i could fix all complaints and blow the fucking coutry up.
    how bout that ya cock suckers

    [DPF: 20 demerits]

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  42. menace (402 comments) says:

    better yet, sack the government, the lot of them.
    ill run the shit hole that nobodies proud of.
    you guys can all be my slave’s.
    wait my table, tend to my gardens etc.

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  43. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    “how bout that ya cock suckers”

    Ah I think you have the wrong address there menace you want:

    Village-Prize-Idiot@Watermelonwunderland.Greenville.LaLaLand

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  44. menace (402 comments) says:

    but i take back the cock suckers bit, that may not be taken nicely by all.

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  45. Sonny Blount (1,782 comments) says:

    “The reality is that English and Key have been telling us we’re in a recession and we have to tighten our belts. So where’s the leadership been from them? Why haven’t they led by example?”

    Ross, how big a voluntary pay cut have you taken?

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  46. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Village idiot takes it nicely or so Elijah tells me.

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  47. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Why does everything this recent immigrant tautokai.baxter say have an ugly ‘green’ hue about it?
    I’m already sick of it.
    Time for demerits DPF?

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  48. Nicholas O'Kane (168 comments) says:

    I wonder if Idiot/Savant at no right turn will remove his “no” sign and his post “will English pay the money back?”

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  49. jabba (280 comments) says:

    The Labour Party rolled out the ultimate rorter, the Fuller woman from Hamilton, who is picking up shit loads of taxpayers money on many benefit “opportunities” and the nats have closed one avenue down and the mad left are outraged. Bill has been “found guilty” of doing something similar and he is being attacked in a vicious campaign by the same people??
    hypocritical pricks.

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  50. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    surely we are talking here about ten years of ineligble claims..?

    that’s more like $350,000..?..isn’t it..?

    then there is the matter of altering/manipulating a family trust..to maximise entitlements..

    then of course..

    the cherry on the cake..

    is that plea for $20 more..for cleaners..’cos they weren’t getting ‘enough to cover it’..

    no matter how you spin it..which way you turn it..

    it is wholesale troughing….

    preaching restraint/cutting jobs…refusing to help the worst off..(‘cos ‘we can’t afford it’..)

    while stuffing his pockes with as much as he can carry..

    ..and more..

    (and hey..!..don’t worry about him not being able to afford to pay it back..eh..?

    remember..even tho’ he has ‘lost’ his pecuniary interests in the wellington family home..

    he has still got those seven..(count them..!..seven..!) superannuation schemes to fall back on..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: Phil's concern for the taxpayer would ring stronger if he actually was a taxpayer]

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  51. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > Ross, how big a voluntary pay cut have you taken?

    Dumb question. When I get elected to Parliament, I promise not to rort taxpayers and to pay my own way.

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  52. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    boy oh boy!

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  53. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    What a novel idea Ross an honest person in parliament —–it’ll never catch on.

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  54. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Bill is dishonest then, Johnboy?

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  55. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    “surely we are talking here about ten years of ineligble claims..?

    that’s more like $350,000..?..isn’t it..?”

    Bawwhawwhaww – like ripping off the welfare system for years like you have Phool?????

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  56. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    “..[DPF: Phil's concern for the taxpayer would ring stronger if he actually was a taxpayer]..”

    attack/smear the messanger..eh dpf..?

    and where on earth did you get the idea to do that..eh..?

    and..i repeat..

    english is deadman walking…

    62% in telly poll think he has been gouging/troughing..

    and..hilarious..!..the only actual file-footage of the english family actually en residence in diption..

    looks to be about ten years old..!

    (oh dear..!..eh..?..)

    and so..dpf..you advocate sole parents raising a child on state support..

    have no righs tto speak/opine on this matter..?

    ‘cos of that state support..?

    (what else could you mean..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  57. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    [DPF: Phil's concern for the taxpayer would ring stronger if he actually was a taxpayer]

    His only concern for the tax payer is when someone else is getting the money instead of him.

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  58. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    Bill English has paid back what wasn’t his and John Key is on holiday in Miami, America for his hard work and effort on a 5minute appearance on prime time American television…

    The future of New Zealand is in great hands!!!

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  59. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Calendar Girl – The English matter is now dead

    (Look! Greens!)

    and yet it seems to have legs and far to go!

    (Look! Greens!)

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  60. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    btw..did english get that extra $20 to ‘cover cleaning costs’..?

    did we ever find that out..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  61. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Look! Bill pay and he walk away.

    Look! Greens no pay no walk away.

    Look! Greens trust houses look more slimy everyday.

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  62. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    The future of New Zealand is in great hands!!!

    Better hands than it was this time last year!

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  63. jabba (280 comments) says:

    so true Bevan

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  64. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    The future of New Zealand is in great hands!!!

    At least bucktooth Hulun isn’t PM anymore.

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  65. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    As I have said before on Kiwi Blog my voting record has been for Labour ever since I have been able to vote, my point then and now is that this is why we are looking at at least a two term National adminstration. This is a Labour beat up Bill English has in my opinion done nothing wrong ( infact I suspect he just did what his accountant told him to do FFS he is Minister of Finance in economic disaster does anyone really think he has time to to sit down and figure out how to rort the system).

    Perception I agree is often more powerful than reality but I think in the real world ie. people like me who pay taxes reality is far more important than the so called “perception” on this issue. I would financially, be far better off if National had been in government for the last 3 terms but you vote for many reasons and self interest isn’t always the deciding factor. My current perception is that Labour have no ideas and constantly waste time on pointless issues ( please Peter Hodgkinson play the ball not the man). From my perspective a sad reality, from labours perspective electoral defeat.

    I heard John Key as leader of the opposition define rich along the lines of, you can pay the bills and help out family and friends I laughed at the time and thought it was a good line and voted for Phil Gough and gave Labour my list vote. National is attempting to achive this I should not have laughed I should have listened. This attack on Bill English is pointless this is a government with integrity go read Waitakere man on Chris Trotters blog he makes the point far better than me.
    ( DPF you should add Chris to your must read blogs)

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  66. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    phil u said: …that’s more like $350,000..?..isn’t it..?

    By my calculation it is $288K, but with time of for good behaviour, could get up to your figure Phil. You can probably forgive him the first two years when he was presumably making his mind up as to where he actually lived.

    Bit it is still a rort, and he still owes the taxpayer in excess of $200K.

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  67. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    “Look! Bill pay but he still walk.”

    Boy, I love this game!

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  68. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Oops! Forgot!
    Look, over there, Greens!

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  69. jabba (280 comments) says:

    had a quick check at Rednotsoalert and the Muss is in orgasm mode and his mates are edging him on.
    Note to Trev the muss .. what Bill has done is not illegal. If the AG decides that it is then well done, if not, then you will look like a right wanker .. ooops, too late.
    Also Muss .. calling someone out for saying something that upsets you and then punching him in the face is illegal. You looked a sad soul in the dock so maybe it’s time for you to do a Bradford and leave.

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  70. pacman (51 comments) says:

    Wait three days and they will try and claim he is now Wellington based and no longer eligible for his electorate seat. A win / win position.

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  71. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    Whatever the left say, Bill’s action which is great, stands in stark stark contrast to Liarbore’s treatment of similar scandals.

    So far, we have seen an honest Speaker, an honest Finance Minister and an honest PM.

    Stark contrast.

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  72. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    sheesh..!..that’s a long bow you draw there..reid..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  73. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Well if this is the worst thing that National get “pinged” for in almost a year they should do 3 terms on their head.

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  74. Clint Heine (1,571 comments) says:

    I don’t particularly think Bill is a great Finance Minister, however this statement is LIGHT YEARS ahead of anything that Cullen would have said. Cullen would have just been the usual chunt that he usually is. English has put together a clear apology and statement.

    As for the hypocritical Greens. The same people who bit by bit examined Bills housing allowance and howled in outrage about the wrongs of it… err, nobody can even manage to get any information about their little scheme to milk the taxpayer to feather their nests. Even DPF hasn’t got the figures and all Frog, Toad and the other apologists have to say is that its nobodys business..so they either do know and are ashamed of it, or they too are in the dark?

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  75. jabba (280 comments) says:

    sorry philu .. I agree with Reid. It is early days BUT compare Smith, Engilsh and JK .. oops, I mean Key with Wilson, Cullen and Clark and I would have to say the Nats team are far more credible.
    One of the many things that shits me about Wilson is that she slams the Monarchy and basically all things British, including Knighthoods and what does she do when she see’s that the commie Labour party are about to get their asses kicked, she does a Bradford, or did bradford do a Wilson, pull the pin and go to .. wait for it, Cambridge or Oxford whatever to further her education. For Gods sake, she is in line for the pension, what’s going back to University all about? As with Cullen and Clark, has Wilson EVER earned (or received) a $ from anyone other than taxpayers?
    Oh, and regarding Knighthoods, isn’t it great seeing Sir Howard, or Howard to the Greens and commie Labour, farewelled as a Knight .. He has been honoured by both parties of the treaty .. RIP Sir H.

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  76. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Somebody (we don’t remember who) got caught for something (we don’t remember what) and had to pay back something (it wasn’t much..we think..not sure..) but THE GREENS! EH! THE GREENS! WHAT ABOUT THEM GREENS, EH!!! OOOOOH! THE GREENS!!!! THIEVES! THIEVES!!! I’M SO ANGRY ABOUT THE GREENS!!!

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  77. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    So you think the Greens are above board in their rort, Mr Idiot?

    Why?

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  78. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    Why didn’t he just go on the list, when he decided to move to Wellington? This was bound to come up sooner or later- he’s never denied living in Wellington and its impossible to represent communities you are no longer a member of.

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  79. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > does anyone really think he has time to to sit down and figure out how to rort the system.

    Rorting the system was the easy part. Transfer the title of your and your wife’s house to a trust and then demand taxpayer handouts. It’s hardly rocket science. But justifying it, now that was the really hard part. Of course, English probably thought he’d never get caught with his snout in the trough.

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  80. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > Why didn’t he just go on the list?

    Oh, so rorting the system while on the list is alright?

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  81. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Mr Reid

    Bill English is rorting and being rapped for it. Attempts to ease the pain of having your man pinged by bleating ‘Green’ whenever the embarrassment bites is shallow, transparent and not a little sad. Today is Bill’s day. Don’t take that away from him by squeaking on and on about anything but the rorter. He deserves your attention. Don’t sell him short. Plus, he’ll need you over the coming days and weeks. Bill. Out on a limb.

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  82. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    Love how the Greentards think this is some kind of victory. Newsflash: it ain’t.

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  83. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    “Of course, English probably thought he’d never get caught with his snout in the trough.”

    That’s right, he didn’t. In doing that he’s no different from any other MP who’s not a multi-millionaire before they get there. They ALL think they’re entitled to trough and they do.

    In some ways I can understand it because their rem is not that great considering their responsibilities, the job pressure and the lack of tenure.

    However in other ways I deeply object, because they know all of that before they offer themselves to the public and it’s completely their free choice.

    What really fucks me off, big time, is when idiots who couldn’t manage a dog kennel get remunerated on the same scale as the competent politicians. There are quite a few of those idiots, on both sides of the House.

    However, English has never been in that category. He’s always been one of the competent and capable, and now, he’s demonstrated that he’s also serious about his reputation and integrity. I said a few days ago on a previous thread that his trust arrangement really stinks. Even if it was legal in a letter-of-the-law sense, he obviously worked out it was a bridge too far in the context of his otherwise sterling reputation and so he decided to make a clean break and forego everything, even though it was an arguable position legally.

    Would but any member of the previous govt had even attempted something close to what he’s just done. They had nine long years. They had many opportunities to do so. None ever did. Not once. Ever.

    And remember, this is the first time in this govt’s term that such an issue has arisen. English has now set the standard. As I recall, it was around this time in her term that Hulun’s painting was being aired. In her actions over that, she set the standard of dishonesty and contempt for her voting public. Over time it led to widespread lies and dishonesty throughout her corrupt regime, from civil servants, to ministers, to MPs, to Liarbore officials; they all followed her lead.

    Stark, stark, stark contrast.

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  84. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    But a newsflash it is! It’ll be a hollow victory if Bill gets the shove.

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  85. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    I see what you mean Reid. Bill’s a very honourable character. He doesn’t deserve to have been caught for his rort.

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  86. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    Mr Idiot, Reid’s my first name.

    English has done the right thing. The Greens are still to do so. That’s why its legitimate to discuss the Green’s position re: their Super scheme.

    The Greens like to pretend they’re the most above-board people on the planet, but really they’re not, are they, if they’re doing that with their Super scheme.

    Fuck that, it’s not their money, it’s OUR money. I am as entitled as anyone is to criticise their rorting of the system. Why don’t you tell us why you think it’s not a rort, rather than merely attempting to dissemble.

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  87. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    “He doesn’t deserve to have been caught for his rort.”

    Yes, he did deserve to be caught. The contrast is in what he did when he was.

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  88. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Reid – yes, he’s a brick! Now, what should be the penalty for a rorter? Is coming clean enough? Bill seems to hope so. I don’t think so. People might just have the niggling feeling that there is a process that should be followed, involving more than merely fessin’ up. What do you think about a Minister of Finance who has, it seems, been exploiting his position for personal gain?

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  89. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    “People might just have the niggling feeling that there is a process that should be followed, involving more than merely fessin’ up.”

    No I think you’re wrong. Apart from a small handful of fanatical lefties who will try to keep it moving, this issue will get no traction whatsoever. English has successfully shut it down, in a way that leaves no doubt as to his integrity, good judgement. His sense of timing was a little out, he could have done this a week ago, but that’s no big deal. Anyway, only time will tell so I suggest you stop dissembling and address the issue of the corrupt, morally bankrupt and execrable Greens who apparently, are the worst people in the world.

    How precisely can you support their demonstrably corrupt practices with their Super fund which clearly rort the taxpayer? The Greens like to pretend they’re the good guys. Clearly, in reality, they’re evil snakes. How say you, village idiot?

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  90. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Reid – “English has successfully shut it down” – that’s your argument and justification for no further action?
    If Mr English has been rorting the system for, say, 10 years, we should celebrate his ‘shutting it down’ and move our attention to others? Why exactly do you see this as admirable? Because it’s ‘clever’? A good ploy? A clever escape?
    Nothing to see here, Reid. We should move along now? You are very quick to have us forget, stop digging, stop thinking even, about Bill’s behaviour and instead, pursue the Greens, because …. they’re NOT BILL, I suppose. Can’t really think of another reason for your indecent haste to bury the matter of Bill rort.

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  91. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    And I love the feeling of being played. Love it!

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  92. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    “You are very quick to have us forget, stop digging, stop thinking even, about Bill’s behaviour and instead, pursue the Greens”

    No not at all, village idiot.

    I merely hold my own opinions and know that my comments here are read by very few and have no illusions about my ability to influence anyone. The only way either of us will know if there’s anything more to the English issue is by observing the way its played out in the media over the next few weeks. Neither of us can do a thing and further discussion is pointless.

    So therefore, we should really address the issue you refuse to address, which is the corrupt practice of the Greens. Care to engage, or would you rather not?

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  93. ross (1,437 comments) says:

    > The contrast is in what he did when he was [caught].

    Really? English defended his position (with Key’s support) and said he was entitled to a handout. A more capable MP might have been upfront and said that he didn’t need the allowance and would no longer receive it. Bill has finally reached this position but why did it take him so long to see the light?

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  94. reid (16,467 comments) says:

    “A more capable MP might have been upfront and said that he didn’t need the allowance and would no longer receive it. Bill has finally reached this position but why did it take him so long to see the light?”

    In hindsight I bet English wishes he had done what he’s done, sooner. I think Key backed him because his advisors were saying English was legally entitled to it. English IMO wasn’t breaking the letter of the law but he was breaking the intent and he got caught.

    The court of public opinion convicted him, and rightly so. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t, and indeed, isn’t, legally entitled to that allowance.

    However, his reputation and the govt’s reputation are clearly more important than a few measly dollars.

    As I’ve said above, what he’s done today is a hell of lot more than the 5th Liarbore govt ever did in their nine years, in relation to matters of rorting and corruption. And that’s my final comment on this.

    I note the continued silence and refusal of village idiot to engage on the matter of the Green’s corruption.

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  95. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    reid – in truth I know nothing of the issue you are (relentlessly) alluding to. If it becomes an issue of public interest, I’ll be party to the same information as you will and be able to form an opinion. I have an opinion on Bill English’s situation and so was engaging on that. Seems you believe there is nothing to be gained from discussing it. I find that pretty funny, given that his actions today are .. the action today! Thought there’d be some interesting discussion to be had around Bill, but no, it seems, no-one here thinks its anything more than a moment in time, in fact one that has covered English in glory rather than horse manure! How astonishing!
    Interesting that you say ‘neither of us can do a thing and further discussion is pointless’, but in the same breath want to discuss the Green’s Super fund. Quite a convoluted thinker Reid.

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  96. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    village idiot – perception is the rule. What he did appeared to be wrong yet apparently technically it wasn’t. What he has done to address the problem appears to be the right thing. Perception. Move along, you won’t get traction on a wet track with slicks.

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  97. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    btw idiot, I’m not defending English, look a my post from the other day. I think he has done enough for this to slide off the table fairly quickly.

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  98. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    Bill deserves some credit for doing this at least, though he should have probably done it as soon as it became an issue. However the fact that he has apparently been receiving such allowances for a decade does not reflect well on his character. His conscience should have been telling him many years ago that he was no longer morally entitled to be claiming the allowance.

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  99. freethinker (691 comments) says:

    Whilst Bill has publicly stated his decision does not set a precedent I believe it does to the extent that by judging his situation calls into question if the same pricipal applies to other MPs or minister present & past. Me wonders if Helen ever claimed expenses for staying in any of her 8 properties whilst on official business and of course there is the Bunkle and Hobbs issues which perhaps need revisiting. Oh I almost forgot has Winston and the shithouse Dunne paid back the stolen taxpayer dollars yet? And perhaps Jonathan Hunts taxi fares need a fresh look at and possibly Maharey double dipped. Could this be a clever plan by Bill to out some of the previous administration – I hope!

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  100. menace (402 comments) says:

    I’m still trying to suss you lot out! Cant work out if your all tied up in a little game here and have lost touch. Or, your playin it hard and keep’n touch behind the BS!, I’m guessing it’s both and its the balance that Ive got to judge. I do see hints of sanity from a few at least. lol.

    Let’s speak hypothetically for a second here. YOUR FATHER RAPES YOUR SISTER! Do you stick by him seeing as he is your father or do you do the morally correct thing and stand against him. Hmmm, some may have to think about this but i personally don’t see any thinking to be done. Of course in saying this, if you didn’t know the fact’s your would have to stick by him till the truth was out. That truth will certainly come one way or the other that’s for sure. Would be hard not to jump to conclusions should dad go on the run though wouldn’t it. One things for sure he’s ya dad and ya know him, you just gotta look em in the eye and the truth is there aye.

    Usually its the same wit dee’s poli’s when the word “rort” comes out its usually a “rort” and ya dam well know it is. They always pointing the finger round the camp cause they use to the smell in the camp, they know how camp work’s and they know what string’s are there waiting to be pulled when there’s get’s pulled. It’s like that nuclear bomb BS they keep hold’n onto em cause the other guys got his and if he ever use’s it they better have there’s to use in return.

    End of the day i reckon we wanna pull the strings on them. Keep em honest. Transparency. take away the distraction’s so they can get on with there jobs, lookin after us and our country.

    Any fool want’s to cheat us then of with his head. At the end of the day they are our leaders led by us and they will act as we allow them.

    If i owned a company and my top guy was ripping me of! oh my I’d have his balls. So should we have there’s should they try any shifty shit. These guys are our leader’s they ain’t Bob who stole a couple box’s of ice cream from his boss Pete.

    Don’t care what party, the “party” shit is just a side track

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  101. menace (402 comments) says:

    I’m still trying to suss you lot out! Cant work out if your all tied up in a little game here and have lost touch. Or, your playin it hard and keep’n touch behind the BS!, I’m guessing it’s both and its the balance that Ive got to judge. I do see hints of sanity from a few at least. lol.

    Let’s speak hypothetically for a second here. YOUR FATHER RAPES YOUR SISTER! Do you stick by him seeing as he is your father or do you do the morally correct thing and stand against him. Hmmm, some may have to think about this but i personally don’t see any thinking to be done. Of course in saying this, if you didn’t know the fact’s your would have to stick by him till the truth was out. That truth will certainly come one way or the other that’s for sure. Would be hard not to jump to conclusions should dad go on the run though wouldn’t it. One things for sure he’s ya dad and ya know him, you just gotta look em in the eye and the truth is there aye.

    Usually its the same wit dee’s poli’s when the word “rort” comes out its usually a “rort” and ya dam well know it is. They always pointing the finger round the camp cause they use to the smell in the camp, they know how camp work’s and they know what string’s are there waiting to be pulled when there’s get’s pulled. It’s like that nuclear bomb BS they keep hold’n onto em cause the other guys got his and if he ever use’s it they better have there’s to use in return.

    End of the day i reckon we wanna pull the strings on them. Keep em honest. Transparency. take away the distraction’s so they can get on with there jobs, lookin after us and our country.

    Any fool want’s to cheat us then of with his head. At the end of the day they are our leaders led by us and they will act as we allow them.

    If i owned a company and my top guy was ripping me of! oh my I’d have his balls. So should we have there’s should they try any shifty shit. These guys are our leader’s they ain’t Bob who stole a couple box’s of ice cream from his boss Pete.

    Don’t care what party, the “party” shit is just a side track.

    Should the greens have it coming to them then they’l get it, no doubt!

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  102. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    I am amazed English and the Caucus thought they would let this one wash over.

    Whoever is handing out the PR advice to the PM’s office either needs to harden the fuck up or get a clue.

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  103. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    so reid…were these allegations against a labour deputy prime minister/finance minister..

    (namely..clear evidence of a ten-year-rort..(totalling over $200 grand..)

    ..you ..(and the other apologists here)… would be as ‘forgiving’..?

    d’yareckon..?

    (keeping in mind yr long obsessional screams of ‘corruption’..

    ..over clark signing a painting for a charity auction..

    (with absolutely no monetary gain for clark..eh..?)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  104. Neil (586 comments) says:

    As a constituent of Mr English this situation has been a potential problem for Bill for years.
    I think Bill should go on the List now that he is Finance Minister. Bill is certainly not a “money-scrubber”, unlike some of the socialist types
    He serves his electorate really well but his electorate is almost as unworkable as West Coast-Tasman. People in his electorate have tremendous respect for him, he has delivered much for his constituency.

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  105. Alistair Miller (500 comments) says:

    I’m gonna repeat my earlier comment here. I don’t think the problem is necessarily Bill and the Endeavour Trust. I suspect the A-G will exonerate Bill. I think the problem is with the rules themselves. There must be some arrangement that can be dreamed up (DPF suggested a couple in an earlier post on this subject) that will remove not only any rort, but the *appearance* of a rort.

    BTW, Audrey Young has an interesting take on this in her column. She reckons the only other thing Bill can do is ask the Auditor-General to review the case. Although I’m not sure what the Auditor-General might find that the Attorney-General won’t.

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  106. Manolo (13,775 comments) says:

    The damage is done.

    English’s actions come a tad too late and ONLY as a result of public pressure, as he’ll be the first to admit.
    Unfortunately, he’s not alone in the greed department. His actions show how greedy most of our politicians are and how far they would go to milk / exploit the system to their advantage.

    The worst thing is they all claim to do it in the name of public service. Most of them are nothing but common thieves.

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  107. Rodney (12 comments) says:

    What Philu said – – –

    Yes it is interesting to see all these callup national party rent boys on here all praising Bill English for being a crook (oh, but he’s a smart crook).. and honest (- insert tui ad here)

    I too remember these frothing hordes screaming about a painting signed by the previous Prime Minister for a fundraiser for a school… a painting worth, say considering she was the Prime Minister… $50, and signing a painting isn’t illegal or indecent.

    ~ vs ~

    A ratbag rorting way over a quarter of a million dollars from the taxpayer like Bill English is doing -well until he got caught of course.

    Such national party standards..

    Such national party pathetic rent boys..

    Crooks. All of them.

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  108. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    National has to be very careful here – if Bill is seen to be given a free-pass (nothing to see here, move along) the lips of the public will begin to form the dreaded ‘C’ word – CORRUPTION – and Mr Key, all-forgiving (unless you’re Richard Worth), ‘I stand by my minister’ Mr Key, will be tarred by the ‘C’ brush.

    Corrrrrrrrrrrrruption!

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  109. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    key and lockwood smith both wish this wd just go away..

    as both of them signed off/authorised the ‘rort’/englishes’ entitlements/arrangments..

    and if the big bucket of shit does end up getting tipped all over english..

    (and with 62% of punters thinking english is/has been rorting..it’s hard to see how it won’t..)

    well..then both key and smith will be unable to avoid the/those splashes..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: As did Hunt and Wilson]

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  110. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    and..didyahear dpf on nat-rad..going ‘look..!..greens..!’..when asked about/commenting on..english..

    ..that made up most of his commentary on english..

    he actually said that the greens superannuation plan..is ‘worse than what english has been doing’..

    (that ‘curly one’ had my eyebrows heading north..(and had the nat=rad host going ‘huh?’..)

    (i wonder where he learnt to do that..?..that ‘look..!..greens..!’ thing..that he does..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

    [DPF: The host brought it up, not me. I did say as a scheme to maximise income from the taxpayer it can be judged worse. I went out of my way though to say the Greens are not only MPs to do this, and they are at least partially open about it]

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  111. H Stewart (29 comments) says:

    Ross my point about saying does he have time to figure out how to rort the system or what ever the hell I said was that Bill English is a man with a huge work load. I am sure that he leaves things like this to lawyers, accoutants and I would suspect his wife probably would oversee this domestic stuff, she is clearly a very talented woman, they don’t just give away medical qualifications.
    Now I grant you this is speculation but an accountant and a lawyer have a duty to act in the best interests of there client so they look at the rules and make sure he is totally legal his wife then signs off on it. It is totally conceivable to me that all involved are relatively politically naive. Bill English is dealing with an economic crisis he just doesn’t have time to worry about domestic issues like this he leaves it to the professionals who tell his wife that this is totally legal. I would bet if I was to meet Bill English or his wife and ask where they were from they would say Southland in the same way that I despite living in Auckland would say Otago. Yes I view Auckland as the place I must live in but not as my home.
    Actually Ross this is a government of the politically naive ( read todays editorial in the ODT ) and I like it, it is avoiding politics and focussing on getting the job done. Labour on the other hand is pissing me off with the continuing idotic stupid attacks on National ministers. Had Phil Gough delt with the Richard Worth problem ethically he would have come out of it smelling of roses he didn’t and John Key who did behave ethically won, note I say ethical not political.

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  112. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I thought that speakers Hunt and the mad woman Wilson also signed off with Bills arrangements?

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  113. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    dpf said:..”..I did say as a scheme to maximise income from the taxpayer it can be judged worse. .”

    how can a legal super scheme be ‘judged worse’ than ten years/$200.000+ of falsly claimed ‘entitlements’/’income-maximising..?

    ..by telling porkies..?

    (and yep..!.jabba…wilson/hunt are also in the frame..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  114. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    Phil – David is unable to speak to the English issue without waving those green-herrings in front of the noses of his audience.

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