Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Bill & Roger: Just a couple of overinflated beneficiaries

WogerIs Entitled BennyBill Beneficiary Bill and “Roger the Taxpayer.”  Two graduates of the entitlement culture running right from the top to the bottom of the New Zealand political tree. Two people with their hands in your pocket – two moochers who saw a racket, and wanted in on it.   Two looters – one of whom as minister of finance increased the total tax take, the other of whom increased the total deficit.  Two bludgers, neither of whom ever saw an “entitlement” they didn’t want part of.

Two of the country’s most highly-paid beneficiaries, with morals to match.

Seems to me that whatever claims to moral authority either of them might have had once, and any such claims must be vanishingly small, their studied and unrepentant fleecing of the taxpayers has now destroyed it.  As Adam at The Inquiring Mind says, “Bill English has committed the cardinal sin of being the resident of a glass house who has commenced to throw stones.  He may not have ‘broken the rules’ but he has undoubtedly diminished his ability to speak with any authority . . . “  Given Douglas’s previous reputation, that goes double for him.

Frankly, except for the occasional party zealot, who are out in force even now insisting neither of these bludgers has done anything wrong, who would ever again take seriously anything either of them has to say on taxing, spending, belt-tightening, economising, responsibility, or honesty.   Who could?

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13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whenever I read the words "done nothing wrong" now, I immediately suspect something dodgy if not fraudulent.

DyannT

8/04/2009 11:29:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

These two have no integrity whatsoever. They are both involved in a rort.

LGM

8/04/2009 01:28:00 pm  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Just as outrageous is the fact that we're somehow surprised.

Bill English is obviously a moron; obviously he's legally entitled to do what he's done, but can you imagine the kind of warm fuzzy publicity he would have received if he'd been able to come out and say "Yeah, I'm entitled to 50 grand of taxpayers' money every year, but I reckon it'd be a bit bloody cheeky to claim rent expenses on my own property." Lucky for him he didn't get any Thai immigrants to do any work on the house though eh?

By the way, has anyone heard anything on this matter from that perk-busting dancing queen Rodney Hide?

8/04/2009 03:52:00 pm  
Anonymous PaulB said...

I wonder if there is anything in this for the IRD to investigate. It is considered a tax dodge if you sell a house into your LAQC with the intention of renting it yourself and claiming expenses.
I'm not sure on the rules around Trusts. Depending on the way they've structured this might not even be a legal entitlement...

8/04/2009 07:26:00 pm  
Blogger Blair said...

I have a bit of sympathy for Roger - his entitlement is one he has had for nineteen years, and one which new MPs can no longer claim. And having deregulated to allow the country to become billions of dollars wealthier in his time in power, one could argue that if anyone in this country is entitled to a few perks in retirement on the taxpayer dime, it would be him. I can't say I'm too bothered in the grand scheme of things. Let's just be grateful new intakes of MPs will not be able to do it.

As for Bill's claims, I actually fail to see the problem. I don't know of a job on earth which doesn't pay an accommodation allowance for working in a different city, and don't see why the taxpayer, having been foolish enough to elect him and send him to Wellington, should make him pony up for his expenses. That he happens to own the house in question, having been previously prudent with his own money such that he can invest in property, is neither here nor there, as he would otherwise be collecting money from a tenant anyway.

I couldn't care less about Bill English's accommodation allowance, but I am dismayed by his recent comments that he wishes to collect more tax revenue to cover shortfalls, and perhaps Peter you should focus on that?

8/04/2009 07:43:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

Blair

It is dishonest to compare what these two rortists are extracting from the public by compulsion with private sector executive remuneration, although that tactic would appear to be one of the defenses big govt acolytes are attempting to rely on presently. It doesn't hold as the context is completely different.

Private employment is not the same as govt sinecure. Nevertheless if these two beneficiaries wanted to avail themselves of remuneration packages that may feature accomodation supplements (above and beyond base salaries exceeding hundreds of thousands of dollars), then there is nothing to stop them seeking private employment. It'd be a safe bet that they wouldn't receive anything like what they have been able to suck out of ordinary citizens though. That's because they ain't worth it. State beneficiaries are not worth anything like as much as they manage to wangle in NZ. Time to get that plump cow Bennet to sort these boys out. Reckon she'd something about it?

Moving on. The second defense which has been promoted is the old, "it's in the rules, therefore it's OK". That doesn't hold either. That one's merely a variant of the old Nuremberg Defense. Following orders, obeying the rules, mindlessly operating according to the system was rightly understood not to expunge a man's reponsibility to act morally. It says a lot that both these two had opportunities to refuse to receive the money and both have had more then ample opportunity to alter the rules (and/or legislation) to wipe this wrongful practice out. Instead both went to the trough of other people's money. What greed. What a lack of integrity. There is no excuse for it.

Final point. PC should concentrate on whatever he likes to concentrate on. He certainly should be pointing out each and every rort that the blood suckers lower themselves to committing.

LGM

8/04/2009 08:52:00 pm  
Blogger ZenTiger said...

Why single out these two as beneficiaries? You are implying that we could replace them with two other current politicians that wouldn't claim their salary and "entitlements".

Perhaps you want them fired and National chucked out to get Labour back in? That's one likely consequence if you manage to vilify them for being supposedly far more greedy than the other MPs. Except they aren't. Labour owns a 24 million dollar property portfolio. They "rent" these properties to their MPS, and Parliamentary Service coughs up the rent courtesy of the tax payer.

Hanging these two would achieve nothing. Blaming these two is suspiciously reeking of myopia.

The entire salary system for MP's needs an overhaul. Although, I'd suggest the salaries go up (pay peanuts and you get monkeys engaged in monkey business), but the perks that extend beyond their jobs disappear.

I see nothing untoward in their behaviour (as compared to all MPs that would find themselves in the same position), but I do see a skewed salary system.

Anyway, doesn't John Key donate his salary? He's probably compensated for National and Act's total bill more in six months than Labour ever managed in 9 years.

That being said, I am not impressed with the National government to date. Better than Labour, but that was always a low hurdle.

8/04/2009 10:48:00 pm  
Anonymous LGM said...

ZenTiger

You write, "Why single out these two as beneficiaries?"

Because they ARE beneficiaries. Also because rather than revise the rules, they personally continued with the endemic rortfest. Because rather than act with integrity, they availed themselves of other people's money. Because they had a choice not to do as they did.



And then you write,
"You are implying that we could replace them with two other current politicians that wouldn't claim their salary and "entitlements"."

Better off not replacing them at all.



"Perhaps you want them fired and National chucked out to get Labour back in?"

National and Labour are two sides of the same coin. The National/Labour coalition has ruled over New Zealand for many decades. In that time they have managed to bring NZ to the point it is now. Let's see, NZ has moved up to the top of the OECD, it has the best infrastructure in the World, its population is the most educated and productive in the World with the greatest amount of real wealth and real savings..... Magnificence.

What is preferable is that BOTH mobs of rortists are excised. Fire 'em all.



"Hanging these two would achieve nothing."

It'd be two less beggars to feed- a good start.



"The entire salary system for MP's needs an overhaul."

And this was the opportunity presented to both of them. They could have overhauled it, saved much OPM (other people's money), but instead...



"Although, I'd suggest the salaries go up (pay peanuts and you get monkeys engaged in monkey business), but the perks that extend beyond their jobs disappear."

Well that's all very twee. How about this then? Since you want the benefits to these nitwits to increase, you should pay for it personally. Leave the rest of us out.



"I see nothing untoward in their behaviour (as compared to all MPs that would find themselves in the same position), but I do see a skewed salary system."

...which the MPs empowered to benefit themselves. They've operated rorts like this over many, many years. As you indicate, they all do it (with few exceptions).



"Anyway, doesn't John Key donate his salary?"

You forget the taxpayer of NZ is forced to donate the cash that is paid to him in various ways- directly and indirectly.



"He's probably compensated for National and Act's total bill more in six months than Labour ever managed in 9 years."

Except this statemen is a pile of bullshit you conjured up out of your own imagination, berift of real fact/information/knowledge. Come on, you have no serious evidence to back this nonsense up. Why, oh why do so many Kiwis write complete shit like that? Must be in the water...



"That being said, I am not impressed with the National government to date. Better than Labour, but that was always a low hurdle."

Really? Stunning.

Zen, they are the same in substance. They differ only in PR branding and style.



LGM

8/05/2009 07:02:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Hi Zen .. firstly, I note your last paragraph. Fair enough.

But I disagree with most of the rest of what you say. "Why single out these two beneficaries?" Why not? It's a good start. We like to think of ourselves as equal-opportunity abusers, and the others will undoubtedly keep! :)

But if your best defence against having a go at these two is the fear of re-electing Labour, it's not saying much for them, is it.

And John Key choosing to personally donate his salary doesn't "make up" or excuse any other MP's largesse and nor should it.

As for increasing the MPs' salaries within our current MMP system, good heavens. How many of them could hope to earn their *current* salaries outside Parliament, let alone higher ones?

I'm thinking of the red, green and brown MPs in particular, but certainly not exclusively.

8/05/2009 10:16:00 am  
Blogger Cactus Kate said...

"I don't know of a job on earth which doesn't pay an accommodation allowance for working in a different city"

That's where we part company Blair.

If you are a travelling salesman away for a few nights a week, you can't set up a home in the city you travel to, and take your family with you and expect your company to pay for it and the cost of where you live (which may be included in the package).

A company would pay relocation costs, yes for a permanent move. But you would be expected to move completely to that city and only have one base.

Also even in the expat industry, housing allowances are becoming a rarity. They are usually now just included in the entire package.

Someone like Bill English with 5 kids and a wife would be expected to be brilliant to get the job over someone who is single or has a much smaller family as he is costing more.

Bill alas, is not.

8/05/2009 10:31:00 am  
Anonymous LGM said...

Cactus

You're right. A married person with family would have to be a VERY high performer to be selected over a single, unmarried person.

Bill, let's face it, is stodgy, average.

LGM

8/05/2009 10:59:00 am  
Anonymous twr said...

And the funny thing is, there never seems to be any shortage of people who want the job, so it's not like you have to have a huge number of perks to attract applicants.

Most businesses will pay accomodation costs for employees who need to travel for work, but there would be precious few who would extend that to paying someone to live in their own house. Certainly none where the shareholders had any say in the running of the business.

8/05/2009 11:04:00 am  
Anonymous Sean Fitzpatrick said...

ZenTiger

"Labour owns a 24 million dollar property portfolio. They "rent" these properties to their MPS, and Parliamentary Service coughs up the rent courtesy of the tax payer."

That is a very interesting piece of information - shows how much the political machine is self serving, huh?

8/05/2009 12:46:00 pm  

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