Deputy Prime Minister Bill English has announced he will give up his taxpayer-funding housing allowances to try and end the growing controversy.

Mr English said he wanted to put the "unnecessary distraction" of the row over his housing expenses behind him.

Mr English told reporters:

- He would not claim the $30,000 annual lump sum available to him as an out-of-town minister.

- He has not received any housing allowance since July 28, when he paid back the difference between his previous ministerial allowance and the allowance for ordinary MPs.

- He has today reimbursed Ministerial Services for all of the outstanding housing allowance he received since the election last November. This is a total amount of $32,000.

Mr English said they were "personal decisions" and did not set a precedent for other MPs whop listed their primary residence in their electorate but effectively lived in Wellington.

"At all times my decisions have been driven by my desire to keep my family together and provide them with as much stability as possible. It's now clear that the system has struggled to deal with my circumstances."

"This has been an unnecessary distraction. I now want to move on and focus on building our economy and ensuring that New Zealanders have jobs.

Mr English said he made the decisions, despite receiving an opinion from Stephen Kos, QC, confirming that changes to his family trust arrangements did not affect his eligibility for the previous ministerial housing allowance.