Jian Yang - Asshole of the Week | The Jackal

9 Sep 2012

Jian Yang - Asshole of the Week

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

The Prime Minister has been asked to investigate one of his MPs who allegedly refused to insulate his rental property because he couldn't get a big enough public subsidy.

During a Herald on Sunday investigation, Mt Wellington tenant Joshua Tuitupou said National MP Jian Yang told him he had to get a Community Services Card before the MP would get the home insulated; otherwise, he said, it was too expensive.

If a tenant has the low-income health card, their landlord can claim a subsidy of up to $2500 on retrofitting insulation to the house. Without the card, the maximum subsidy is $1300.

Labour housing spokeswoman Annette King has written to John Key saying taxpayers would find it "unacceptable for an MP to arrange their affairs to provide a personal financial advantage for themselves".

"This allegation requires investigation as, if correct, it reflects on all Members of Parliament."

Jian Yang earns $141,800 per year for being a National list MP. He has recently received a pay rise of $7000, which would take a full time worker on the minimum wage three months to earn. Clearly Yang can afford to pay the extra $1200 it would cost to insulate the house he's renting to Joshua Tuitupou.

This is the type of controversy that gives politicians a bad name. Not only are they living the high life on the taxpayer dollar, in the case of Jian Yang, it appears they're not willing to adhere to National's policy nor repay their social obligation to New Zealand.

To require a tenant to acquire a community services card to gain the full subsidy before insulating his rental property thus manipulating government policy for financial gain is a gross abuse of power as a landlord. It's also an abuse of power as an MP and as a result of that corruption; Yang is clearly not suitable to be a representative in government.

Yang has failed to comply with the principles of public service, with the Cabinet Manual (PDF) stating:

Ministers are responsible for ensuring that no conflict exists or appears to exist between their personal interests and their public duty. Ministers must conduct themselves at all times in the knowledge that their role is a public one; appearances and propriety can be as important as an actual conflict of interest. Ministers should avoid situations in which they or those close to them gain remuneration or other advantage from information acquired only by reason of their office.

John Key needs to act to ensure members of his political party uphold the highest standards so that public opinion of politicians doesn't decline even further. Unfortunately Keys previous failure to ensure MPs are held to account means it's unlikely anything will be done about Jian Yang's corruption. What an asshole!