Image via WikipediaPansy Wong, MP for Botany and sacked cabinet minister was found guilty of only one act of misusing her travel perk. Who cares if its one breach or twenty!
Pansy Wong, no relation of the Susy Wong of the silver screen back in the 60's, had been accused of a number of breaches of ripping off her tax-payer subsidised travel perk. PM John Key said she could eventually return to cabinet after the next elections in 2011 - providing National is re-elected that is . And that is no given taking the Winston Peters/ NZ First wildcard into consideration.
Labour leader, Phil Goff, called the report that found Wong guilty of only one case of breaking the rules, a white wash that should be investigated by the Auditor-General. Probably has a point too!
So Pansy Wong was guilty of only one case of ripping off the tax-payers by conducting personal business - during a trip from Beijing to Lianyunggang in 2008.
Mrs Wong qualified for the gold-plated perk that gave her and Mr Wong 90% rebates on international flights for MP's and their spouses. What a blank cheque for ripping off Kiwi taxpayers. It should be abolished and MP's given an allowance if its needed.
Sammy Wong took 358 domestic trips over ten years - racking up $100,000 in the process. Thats just over 35 a year or one every three weeks or so. In 2002 - 2003 he took 55 trips - mostly Christchurch and back - and the next 47 trips cost $8213, justified as a spouse of an MP.
Sammy Wong's travelling is allegedly consistent with travelling to support his wife. I would turn that around and say it shows Pansy Wong supporting her husband's business interests. Sorry, but I don't consider these to be domestic flights at all. Seems a bit Wong to me!