No Minister has a copy of a letter to the Auditor-General asking them to investigate the extra funding Jim Anderton gets (both personally and for expenses) by purporting to be the leader of a political party.
Sadly it will not be successful. Standing Order 34(1) is clear:
Every party in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.
So under the rules of Parliament, Anderton is entitled to still be seen as a Progressive MP (and Leader) even though he has announced they will not stand a party list in 2011, and has endorsed Labour and encouraged all his members to join Labour.
But as with Bill English and his housing situation, it is not just about the “entitlement”, it is about the perception and Anderton fails on the perception front. He gets an extra $13,500 a year salary and no doubt an extra $2,700 a year superannuation. And his office gets an extra $100,000 a year budget. Total extra cost to the taxpayer over three years is $348,600.