Disgraced politicians keep pay despite being absent from Parliament

Two scandal-hit politicans are continuing to be paid tens of thousands of dollars despite not turning up to work at Parliament anymore. 

Your playlist will load after this ad

Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins say their MPs are not taking the mickey out of taxpayers. Source: 1 NEWS

Both party leaders have come out in support of Iain Lees-Galloway and Hamish Walker, saying they aren't taking the mickey out of taxpayers.  

"You know what, Hamish Walker is keeping me absolutely up to date at what's happening in his electorate. It is my decision that he has got leave to do that," Judith Collins said. 

Both MPs have chosen to retire after this year's election but in the meantime, neither are showing up for work despite being on full pay. 

PM dismisses Iain Lees-Galloway as minister after 'inappropriate relationship'

"I don't think it's unfair for a little bit of time to be taken under the circumstances but that will not remove his responsibilities as a local MP as well," Jacinda Ardern said. 

The 1 NEWS team swung by Iain Lees-Galloway's Palmerston North electorate office which is supposedly open between 10am and 4pm, it wasn't. 

We also visited Hamish Walker's Queenstown office which was all shut up too, Ms Collins defended him, saying a lot of their work is focused in the community. 

National MP Hamish Walker says he won't run again following leaked Covid-19 patient info controversy

Both Labour and National have told their MPs they don't have to come back to Parliament this term and neither of the two have been back since their respective scandals broke. 

The MPs are also refusing to do interviews with the media. 

The public are less supportive of their absences. 

"It's the taxpayers that have to pick up the bill really, so if they're not in parliament doing their job why should they get paid," said one person. 

Inside Parliament: Iain Lees-Galloway and Andrew Falloon leave Parliament in disgrace

A welfare advocate, who is also standing for the Green Party at the election says it seems to be a double standard for the likes of politicans and beneficiaries. 

"They may face a hundred percent of their benefit or 50 percent of their benefit, if they don't show up to work seminars," Auckland Action Against Poverty's Ricardo Menedez-March said. 

"We don't hold public officials and wealthy nationals to the same standards that we do low income communities." 

Both politicians will be on full pay for three months after the election, earning roughly an extra $60,000.