What? No wisecracks from Labour over double-dipping?

Labour made much of Bill English’s housing issues when he was snapped double-dipping.

Strangely, there isn’t a peep from the usual suspects about Jacinda Ardern’s and Winston Peters’ own double-dipping:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters were both mistakenly paid over $21,000 for accommodation they didn’t need.  

The pair put out a press release on Tuesday afternoon explaining the overpayment, which resulted from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) continuing to pay them an accommodation allowance despite each moving into an official residence.

Ardern received $12,205.49 while Peters received $9123. They have both repaid the amount in full and received an apology for the error.

As soon as we were advised of the error, we both immediately took steps to reimburse the money.  That has now happened,” the pair said.

Good. At least they’ve paid it back.

“The error occurred when the DIA’s Ministerial Services continued to pay each of us a Member of Parliament’s Wellington accommodation allowance after they had moved us into official accommodation, at which point payments should have stopped.”

Neither had asked DIA for the payment.

“While mistakes happen, we have accepted the officials’ apology. Appropriate use of taxpayer money is something we both take extremely seriously, and we have set a high bar for ourselves and others.”

The mistake came to light as DIA prepared for their proactive release of ministerial expenses.

Non-Wellington based MPs receive an accommodation allowance in order to cover Wellington housing costs.

Outgoing National leader Bill English claimed $32,000 in accommodation allowance while living in a Karori home owned by a trust in the late 2000s.

He paid it all back when media uncovered the allowance in 2009.

I bet they both get a free pass. This will be a once-over-lightly story from the Media party.

I’d sure know if I had a stray $9k floating through my accounts.

 

-Fairfax

 

 


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

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