One sure thing that will come from the uproar over MPs expenses is that none of them are likely to criticise beneficiaries in the foreseeable future.
And cutting entitlements definitely won't be on the table after last week's revelations of how much MPs spend on travel and accommodation.
It has been a public relations nightmare, with perceptions of the profligate use of taxpayer money in the middle of a recession and amid calls from ministers for belt-tightening.
This has happened without any breaches of the rules. Not even Finance Minister Bill English, a unique case, received anything he wasn't entitled to.
The rules, such as they are, have been around a long time. The outrage occurring now is because this is the first time details of the spending have been published.
That happened because of the scandals that have rocked the British Parliament and the decision was intended to show that New Zealand MPs can't and don't rort the system in the way members of the House of Commons did.
There is a sound basis for why MPs have travel and accommodation allowances.
Those who don't live in Wellington have to travel to and from Parliament and they have to spend nights in the capital.
It is the extent to which some have maximised their gains that is causing the problem.
Some out-of-town ministers own apartments in Wellington and have rented them out, moving into bigger, taxpayer-funded homes.
The argument is that the apartments were either too small for their families or that they needed space to entertain.
The fact that some of them rented their apartments to backbenchers made this situation look like double-dipping into the public purse, because the MPs in them claim allowances which go straight back to the owners.
It really doesn't matter who lives in the apartments because the MPs would be claiming allowances wherever they lived.
But it begs the question of why the apartment owners shouldn't have to offset the cost of ministerial accommodation with the rent money they receive from the properties they own.
Maybe they will have to after the review ordered by Prime Minister John Key submits recommendations, which it is expected to do before the end of the month.
English is the lightning rod for most of the criticism because of his unusual circumstances and the fact that he is the minister of finance.
He has persistently told the nation how hard up the Government is and warned the public service that it is going to have to do more with less.
He has lived in Wellington for more than a decade and his current home, owned by a family trust, is worth more than $1 million.
To qualify for an allowance, the house has been leased to Ministerial Services and English was collecting about $1000 a week. He was on track to receive more than $45,000 a year while out-of-town MPs are entitled to claim $24,000.
Last Tuesday he announced he was going to take the $24,000 rate and pay back the difference on what he had already received.
"I understand this does not look good," said English, and he was right on that score.
"It doesn't really matter what the technicalities are and from my point of view, particularly as the minister of finance, that is not a sustainable position."
The best case scenario, and one of the explanations which is on offer, is that English didn't pay much attention to what was going on after the election because he was writing a budget and trying to deal with the recession.
Ministerial Services worked out the lease arrangement and he went along with it. The finance minister is said to leave "admin" to others while he gets on with his job.
He should have known what was going on and he has been around long enough to have developed an internal alarm system which should have told him it wasn't going to be a good look.
The most difficult aspect of English's case is whether or not he lives in Wellington.
He obviously does, but he represents a South Island electorate and is therefore considered to be an out-of-town MP.
Labour helpfully published the form that all MPs have to complete after an election, which asks where their "primary residence" is.
English says his primary residence is in Dipton, which qualifies him for a housing allowance in Wellington.
He says he usually works seven days a week so he has to live in the capital and he wants his family with him.
This primary residence issue isn't likely to be changed, if only for the reason that an MP representing an electorate outside Wellington isn't go to tell their voters they don't live there.
The travel expenses are something else entirely. Some impressive sums have been racked up, not least by Labour's Chris Carter.
He blames criticism on "malicious misinformation...possibly by political opponents" and makes no apology for his travel costs.
Then there is the free domestic travel and the heavily subsidised international travel that long-serving former MPs enjoy. There are more than 250 of them flying around at taxpayer expense.
Speaker Lockwood Smith says it is valid recompense for long service, because MPs get the same salary however long they have been in Parliament.
MPs without ministerial responsibilities get $131,000 a year, and not many of them would think it is enough compared with private sector salaries. The level is determined by an independent authority, and this year they have all asked for a pay freeze because taking rises definitely wouldn't be a good look.