Let’s have a jolly good time on the taxpayers’

Guest post

The latest Minister’s credit card expenses for the September to December 2016 are out and, as usually, media have raked through credit card spending trying to discover what Ministers have been over indulging on with taxpayer’s money.

We learned that Todd McClay took Winston Peters to Paris and they dined on foie gras and snails at a bistro in Paris. Hey, while in Paris might as well try a snail or two.

Rarely do they examine the opposition parties expense accounts. Why bother, they don’t get the opportunities to travel or waste taxpayer’s money like the governing parties or do they but it doesn’t come under the microscope? However, we are going to do some digging and examine the expenses of the three opposition parties since the 2014 elections to December 2016.

Labour have 32 MPs – In December 2016 Michael Wood replaced Phil Goff.

Greens have 14 MPs – In September 2015 Marama Davison replaced Russell Norman and Barry Coates replaced Kevin Hague left late in 2016.

NZ First started off with 11 MPs but gained an extra MP when Winston Peters won the Northland by-election early in 2015.   

Accommodation Expenses in Wellington. This covers MP’s expenses who don’t normally reside in Wellington.

There are 26 Labour MPs who have to travel to Wellington for work, which works out to an average of $45,541

Greens have 11 out of town MPs with an average of $53,932. Note Jan Logie is local but must have stayed in a hotel one night.

NZ First have no local MPs and average out at $45,541.

So the Green Party who are all list MPs are the most expensive to accommodate. Which begs the question why are list MPs not forced to move to Wellington? They don’t have an electorate to look after. Most people reside in the same place as they work.

Accommodation Expenses outside of Wellington. This covers MPs while on Parliamentary business outside of Wellington.

The Labour MPs have an average out of Wellington accommodation bill of $8,739. Little spent $33,602 which is probably understandable as the leader but not far behind was Kelvin Davis $28,156. Adrian Rurawhe (who?) $22,668 and Nanaia Mahutu with a bill of $20,528. What have these MPs being doing, where have they been?

The Green MPs have an average of $9,674. Compare the 2 co-leaders, James Shaw’s $21,349 and Metiria Turei $12,859. Who has been slacking? Stefan Browning’s $18,108 what a shocker, he definitely needs some sunlight put on him.

NZ First. What a frugal lot these MPs are with an average of only $3,951. Winston must be very crafty to have an accommodation bill of only $2929. Had to recheck that one.

So on average, the Green MPs are the most expensive to accommodate out-of-town as well as in Wellington.

Travel expenses. Travel expenses are made up of by air, by land and inter-parliamentary travel which is an arranged by the Clerk of House where politicians can visit foreign parliaments.This also includes travelling to and from home to Wellington.

No surprise here that Little does a lot of travel both on land and air. One would hope it is on parliamentary business and not electioneering. Probably pay to keep an eye on him for the next 9 months. The other 2 big air travellers are Damien O’Conner and David Parker. Still, all Labour MPs do a lot of toing and froing and Trevor Mallard needs to get on his bike more.

What is with these Greens and air travel? Their carbon footprint doesn’t tie in with their clear green image, Kennedy Graham and Steffan Browning being the two worse offenders.

What is interesting here is Peters does do a lot of travel but when looking at his out of town accommodation one must wonder where he stays. Is he just travelling from home to Wellington lots? Tracey Martin has large surface travel bill, does she catch a taxi from Auckland airport to home, North of Auckland?

The dirty 11 who have hit the $200,000 mark. I wonder how many others get over the $200,000 mark before the next elections.

Andrew Little (Labour, List) $324,160
Kelvin Davis (Labour) $263,289
Winston Peters (NZ First) $223, 583
Damon O’Connor (Labour) $218,212
David Cunliffe (Labour) $216,441
Mika Whaitiri (Labour) $216,030
Kennedy Graham (Green, list) $211,658
Denise Roche(Green, list) $207,454
Nanaia Mahuata (Labour) $206,454
Steffan Browning (Green,list) $205,314
Adrian Rurawhe (Labour) $202,722

In conclusion, it appears the Greens and Labour have no concerns in hopping on a plane and going somewhere.

 


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