Changes to MPs allowances

August 23rd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Remuneration Authority has published its determination for travel and accommodation allowances for Ministers and MPs. This is the first time they have been set by an independent body. Prior to this, the Speaker and the Minister for Ministerial Services determined them. So it is good to have this now with an independent body.

What are the significant changes.

  • Cap on MPs’ Wellington accommodation increases from $24,000 to $28,000, the level it has been at since 2007. This increase reflects the 18% inflation we have had since 2007.
  • Cap on Ministers’ Wellington accommodation increases from $37,500 to $41,000, the level it has been at since 2009. This increase reflects the 11% inflation we have had since 2009.
  • Daily limit for hotels in Wellington increases from $160 to $190 for MPs and from $200 to $240 for Ministers. Again both these changes are near identical to the inflation level since 2007, so in real terms just a catch up.
  • Daily limit for hotels in Auckland and Christchurch increases from $180 to $210 for MPs and $290 for Ministers.
  • Spouse or partner travel was previously unlimited but is now capped at 20 trips a year for MPs and 30 for Ministers, and also now restricted to travel to accompany the MP on official business.
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11 Responses to “Changes to MPs allowances”

  1. FeralScrote (220 comments) says:

    Politicians ,one of the few parasites that don`t kill the host,in fact we have to vote to keep them in : (

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  2. Longknives (4,764 comments) says:

    I remember a year or two ago when one of the Government Departments (Police or Nurses I think) were asking for a payrise just to match inflation.
    “Times are tough and we all have to tighten our belts” was the response from Wellington…

    Clearly.

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  3. Return To Sender (15 comments) says:

    “now restricted to travel to accompany the MP on official business.” So what was it before? Free holiday travel for partners? What a rort. Why do we have such great perks for our pollys? This sort of thing is part of a bygone era.

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  4. Bullitt (140 comments) says:

    I can see why Ministers deserve a higher salary than backbench MPs but why do they need higher accommodation allowances? Surely it should just be an expense reimbursement and I doubt a backbench MP is staying in a Hostel.

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  5. Zapper (1,021 comments) says:

    What an absolute joke. Expenses should be covered for what is required to carry out their job. If they want their spouses to travel with them, pay for it yourself out of an already generous salary. They rort accommodation, never pay for their own food or travel, yet they still don’t have enough left over to cover flights for their spouse???

    This sort of thing completely does my head in. Do they even think about where this money comes from?

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  6. Southern Raider (1,831 comments) says:

    Will the changes push Green MPs above the $140K annual rich prick threshold?

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  7. Redbaiter (9,098 comments) says:

    Seems pretty clear the claimed independence of the Renumeration Authority is a myth.

    They’re obviously for the MPs and against the taxpayer.

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  8. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    This is why I would axe the R.A.

    My salary plan for MPs?

    PM would get four times the median salary (so around $240K. ) Cabinet ministers maybe 3 x the median (so around $180K). Everyone else would get 2 x the median (around $120K). No allowances. No perks.
    No free travel, no this, no that.

    Oh, and it would be in the law that the hogs at the top only had their salary increased by the inflation rate.
    Also – whatever increase *they* got, the public service got as well.
    “Sauce for geese and ganders” and all that…

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  9. Deane Jessep (73 comments) says:

    It’s weird, normally I am pro reduced spending everywhere, but I can’t help thinking that in this scenario it’s definitely in the public’s interest to make sure the pressures of the job don’t cost an MP or Minister their marriage. Thor42’s method could work, but only depending on where they physically live/work and how often to actually have to travel. As someone married 1/2 my life to the same lovely woman and who has to regularly travel I know that taking her with me makes:

    Me less likely to go out late boozing with clients.
    Me more likely to go for a healthy run.
    Me much less stressed for the obvious conjugal reasons.
    Her happier for the above three.
    Her aware of what I must do for my job.
    Our marriage stronger as a result.

    Now I can’t afford to take her with me, the costs just stack up too high after babysitting. But I am also directly in control of how much of the above I do, and where I live.

    You could throw the ‘they choose’ to be a MP thing back at me, and that’s true. But I would much prefer a bias towards stable relationships in the mix of MP’s and even if your not biased that way, surely your not keen on contributing to the destruction of stable relationships for the ones that get in.

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  10. backster (2,174 comments) says:

    Parliamentary services or who-ever the paymaster is should have to cover these increases without any increase in their budget.
    The Labour/Green/ Nazi coalition should demonstrate their integrity by reducing these allowances in order to reduce the in-equality in society, anything less would show them up as hypocrites. David Cunliffe should apologise for being a politician.

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  11. MH (762 comments) says:

    why is it our PM gets paid more than the UK’s PM?
    More chance of being head hunted here?

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