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.