The Herald reports:
Lindsay Tisch’s arrangement meant the $410 a week he has been claiming from the public purse for his Wellington accommodation was paid to his own property investment company.
This made him landlord and tenant – with the taxpayer picking up the bill.
By using the company, Mr Tisch has been able to claim close to the maximum $24,000 a year in expenses that MPs from outside Wellington are entitled to for accommodation.
This is basically what the Greens also were doing, through their Super Fund. It is legal and within the rules, but it means an MP maximises the amount they can claim, rather than be restricted to interest only.
Other MPs are using similar arrangements to Mr Tisch, but Parliament’s Speaker Lockwood Smith last night denied it was a loophole and said he was happy for the practice to continue as long as the rent they claimed was based on an independent market valuation.
With respect, I disagree. Perception is all important, and I just think it is a bad look if an MP has any interest in a property that the taxpayer pays for – directly or indirectly.
I think the rules should change so that you can only claim rental expenses on Wellington accommodation you have no interest in.
He now has the apartment rented out privately.
Which is the best thing to do.Tags: Lindsay Tisch, MPs expenses