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Luxon Claims Taxpayer's Money To Rent Apartment He Owns

PM Christopher Luxon had told visiting Australian cricketers that he was not living in Premier House because of its condition. Photo: RNZ/Angus Dreaver

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will receive a $52,000 top-up to his $471,000 salary to cover his accommodation expenses, as he has chosen not to live in Premier House. This decision marks the first time in at least 34 years that a prime minister has claimed this payment, Newsroom reported.

Luxon, who resides in a mortgage-free apartment in Wellington, confirmed through a spokesperson that he will claim the optional accommodation payment. Previous prime ministers have either lived in Premier House or, in the case of Wellington-based leaders Bill English and Chris Hipkins, stayed in their own homes.

Luxon's choice not to reside in Premier House has been attributed to its maintenance issues. While the building underwent upgrades in 2018 at a cost of $3 million, it has been acknowledged by Ardern and Hipkins as needing further substantial work. Premier House has been reported to have issues with leaking, and Hipkins described it as dated, suggesting it could benefit from a "modest modernisation project."


            Also Read: https://www.indianweekender.co.nz/news/luxon-defends-billing-taxpayers-for-renting-house-he-owns 



                                                                         Premier House. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Luxon's decision has sparked scrutiny, especially given his ownership of a mortgage-free apartment valued at more than $1 million. Before the election, he was one of more than 20 MPs who received $31,000 a year from Parliament to cover housing expenses in the capital while staying in properties they already owned.

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       Also Read: https://www.indianweekender.co.nz/news/pm-luxon-says-he-will-pay-back-his-accommodation-allowance 



Luxon campaigned on reducing public expenditure and ensuring value for taxpayers' money. However, his eligibility to claim up to $52,000 a year under the accommodation supplement scheme has raised questions about the need for such payments when he owns multiple properties.

Ministerial expense returns released recently did not initially show Luxon claiming the accommodation expense. However, a late filing will reflect this in future releases. Luxon is reportedly considering the necessary repairs and upgrades for Premier House before deciding whether to reside there

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