Christopher Luxon defends MP Tim Costley claiming allowance to live in own flat

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has defended his MP’s use of housing allowances.

Ōtaki MP Tim Costley has made headlines for claiming more than $36,000 to live in a Wellington apartment he owns.

MPs often left Parliament late at night and Costley’s 58km commute to Waikanae was impractical, Luxon told Morning Report.

“MP’s when they’re in Wellington, [they] don’t finish Parliament till 10[pm],” he said.

“We have some meetings out of there until midnight and then expect to be back at work in order to get going into select committees and other work that they have to do, between 7am and 8am.”

Costley lived outside the Wellington commuter area, he said.

“That’s not inappropriate actually, given he’s got a young family, he needs to get back to his family but he needs to be able to get on with his work.”

Luxon said when he returned his own allowance, it was because the situation was “becoming a distraction”.

“We’ve got a guy with a young family who is expected to work when he’s in Parliament in that week, up to 10pm,” Luxon said.

“He’s actually then got to do meetings and debriefing afterwards, that often means he’s not out of there until midnight. He’s got to be back at work at 7am and there are times when that that can be a bit brutal going one way or another way.

“He’s juggling quite a lot.”

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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