20 Jul 2010

Sentencing of man taking civil action against PM

2:46 pm on 20 July 2010

A man who is taking a civil action against the Prime Minister will be sentenced in the Thames District Court on Tuesday on charges relating to benefit overpayments.

Graham Taylor, 56, is charged with failing to disclose to the Ministry of Social Development his interest in almost $1 million worth of property and almost $250,000 in cash assets while he was receiving benefit payments between 2000 and 2009.

He says he believed the assets were in a trust.

Mr Taylor says the case has been hugely stressful for him and his mother and he is taking civil action against the Prime Minister and others - including the ministry's chief executive, Peter Hughes, and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett - over what he calls a malicious prosecution.

"We have a smarmy John Key and a grinning Paula Bennett on the news able to bullshit their way through anything with the right PR crowd," Mr Taylor says, "but they are missing the heartbeat."

The ministry says it will defend the action.