So Bill English is going to pay back his accommodation allowance – well, at least some of it. According to Sir Double Dipton, it is all about “perception”:
But he said today he accepted there was a perception that he was claiming more than ordinary MPs who live in homes they have an interest in, and though he had done nothing wrong, there was only one way to change that perception.
“The fact is no amount of detail will change the perception that in some way I’m gaining a bigger allowance than other members of Parliament, so I’ve decided to deal with that perception.
“I’m the Minister of Finance. It’s my job to lead by example, so I’ll be getting in touch with the Ministerial Services to pay back the difference between the rate I’m on and the other rate going back to the election.”
Let’s see if other Ministers, particularly those like Phil Heatley and Wayne Mapp, who have been collecting accommodation allowance for both the homes they live in and theones they own and rent out to other MPs, make similar offers.