I spent several hours thinking about Bill English’s situation the other day.
Clearly, his family is in Wellington. So what is the difference between her situation and Phillida Bunkle?
Then, watching a report that night it was mentioned that Phillida Bunkle was caught claiming allowances she was not entitled to (though it seems reading around that she was later cleared).
That’s the difference. Bunkle owned houses in Wellington, and lived within a reasonable drive. Bill only has a house in Wellington because he works there. When he finishes, he will move back to his farm.
Now, Bill should not have set up his affairs so he was renting his own house. That was wrong. We expect better from our National MPs. They should hold themselves to a higher standard than the left – especially as No. 2 in the cacus.
But it appears he is entitled as Clutha/Southland MP to an allowance for owning his own home in Wellington, and I am glad to see he has repaid the difference. I do wonder whether this action is really enough however to restore confidence in the integrity of this government.
This morning, the fuss is over whether he is actually a Wellington MP, which is nonsense. Not just for the reasons above, but because everyone knows his circumstances, where his wife works etc – it’s not been hidden at any stage.