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Talk Is Cheap. Just Pay Him The Money Minister!

Talk Is Cheap. Just Pay Him The Money Minister!

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide today said that Prime Minister Helen Clark and Defence Minister Mark Burton should just pay up on behalf of all New Zealanders the wages owed to ex-POW Mr Ross Lynneberg.

"Our government transferred Mr Lynneberg from our Navy to the Royal Navy in 1941. The deal was that our government would top up his Royal Navy pay to the New Zealand rate of pay. There was a glitch. Mr Lynneberg never received his British pay.

"He was captured by the Japanese before his pay could be sorted.

"Mr Lynneberg only recently discovered the error when he received his service file while writing his memoirs.

"He wrote to Mr Burton on 29 March 2000. He explained that his pay was outstanding. The Minister responded two months later simply to confirm his war service and to conclude, `As this matter is entirely at the discretion of the British Authorities, there is unfortunately nothing that I can do to assist you in obtaining the arrears of pay which you are seeking'.

"I wrote to the Prime Minister setting our Mr Lynneberg's case on 19 March 2002. Since then there has been an endless correspondence. Mr Burton finally conceded on 26 September 2003 that Mr Lynneberg is owed 238 pounds and 10 shillings all from the British government. He then concluded - once again - that there was nothing he could do.

"Adjusting for inflation, and converting to New Zealand dollars, Mr Lynneberg is owed $17,500 not including interest.

"Our government promised Mr Lynneberg that they would top-up his pay for any shortfall 62 years ago when it sent Mr Lynneberg off to war on behalf of us all. It's a promise that we should keep.

"Now after publicity, the Minister announces that has he raised Mr Lynneberg's plight with British Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon. So they have talked about his case over tea. Secretary Hoon has said he would personally review the situation again to ensure that Mr Lynneberg's case has received full and fair consideration.

"It's taken over three years for an 82-year-old ex-POW owed his wages just to get a `full and fair consideration'. It's a disgrace. Helen Clark should be ashamed of herself. This is no way to treat any returned serviceman let alone one who suffered terribly through the war. She is prepared to hand out hard-earned taxpayers' money to every whacko PC cause - but won't pay the wages owed to a man who served his country.

"Our government should just pay Mr Lynneberg what he is owed - and Mark Burton can carry on wrangling over tea with the Brits trying to get them to pay," Mr Hide said.

Read about Mr Lynneberg's case:[View]_Message.php?id=29

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