Perks gone

November 18th, 2010 at 6:13 am by David Farrar

As expected:

The Speaker has finally sounded the death knell on travel perks after almost 40 years of MPs enjoying taxpayer-subsidised flights for their private international trips and holidays.

announced last night that the perks giving MPs discounted international travel would no longer be available for them. …

However, he intended to set up a scheme to allow backbench and Opposition MPs to travel on parliamentary-related trips of their own initiative, rather than the limited opportunities for official travel.

He said the new scheme would have tight rules and was likely to require some personal contribution from MPs towards costs.

I still think the appropriate way to do this, is to increase the bulk funding each parliamentary party gets. Nothing will ensure only high quality trips are funded, like the fact they would be competing for funds with staff, research, policy and comms.

Any sort of dedicated fund or entitlement will end up with controversy.

The Remuneration Authority will decide if MPs will get an increase on their base salary to compensate.

They will – it is basically required by law. The real question is how much.

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10 Responses to “Perks gone”

  1. Pete George (23,564 comments) says:

    Good. Progress.

    And signs that some politicians are getting the gist of people’s concerns.

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  2. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    When the OIA applies to all of parliamentary services then i will believe there really is a change of heart over the way they use our money.

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  3. tvb (4,422 comments) says:

    Except this new money should be ring fenced to spend on approved overseas travel. The Labour Party saves up this money and spends it on electioneering.

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  4. La Grand Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Metiria Turei has alot to say on the subject of MP’s remuneration. I find this ironic considering that barring the imbecilic vote of 5% of New Zealands most moronic citizens she would be on the dole.

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  5. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    I find this ironic considering that barring the imbecilic vote of 5% of New Zealands most moronic citizens she would be on the dole.

    I find it quite ironic that an ACT supporter is insulting another party member about using the travel perk!

    Say what you will about the Greens, but at least they have always been against these perks for MPs. Next step, to get rid of the perk for the “long-serving” MPs – and I’m looking straight at Roger “Entitled” Douglas.

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  6. TimG_Oz (862 comments) says:

    What a great idea. While we’re at it, lets get rid of MPs super, and cut their pay down to minimum wage.

    That way the only people that will want to be MP are the unqualified, the mega rich, and the wacko extreme idealists like the Greens.

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  7. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    tristanb No no dear boy wrong approach, we need to be closer to the election with the entitled ones ranting how much they as perk busters are entitled to flights on the tax payer.

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  8. Rodders (1,755 comments) says:

    Tom Scott’s take on perks http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/opinion/cartoons/1251886/Tom-Scott

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  9. reid (16,462 comments) says:

    What really disappointed me about Lockwood’s interview on today’s Morning Report, was his mealy excuse about why former MP’s aren’t affected at all.

    He said that the levy compensated people from the days when electorate offices were in their own houses and families used to serve as the electorate’s secretary and office staff.

    Yeah sure Lockwood. Maybe that was the case when Bill Birch and Rob Muldoon entered Parliament but it sure as hell hasn’t been the case for decades.

    I thought the Speaker was apolitical not just in the partisan sense but also in the spin sense. He’s basically, I thought, our Parliamentary Ombudsman, ready to intercede on behalf of the people and not spin bullshit to us on behalf of his former colleagues.

    Shame on you Lockwood, shame on you.

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  10. Phil Lyth (10 comments) says:

    Over 40 MPs get no international travel perk under current rules, so they should be compensated for losing what they have not got?

    Stretching it even by your standards Davey!

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