Former MPs travel perks

Stuff reports:

Former MPs and their spouses claimed over $700,000 in taxpayer-funded travel in the last year, with couples among the big spenders.

The Parliamentary Service’s 2015/16 annual report has revealed the latest figures for claims on international and domestic travel as part of a discontinued perk.

Former Speaker and Labour MP Sir Kerry Burke was the biggest spender among MPs, totting up $16,147 courtesy of the taxpayer.

He retired 26 years ago but still getting the benefit.

The perk was cut off around 15 years ago it only applies to MPs who were elected before 1999. This means eventually it will disappear. But it is aggravating to taxpayers to see former MPs get it.

However I agree that you don’t retrospectively cancel something that was part of the terms and conditions of becoming an MP back then, and was in lieu of salary.

But why don’t we just buy the perk back and have it done with once and for all.

If it costs $700,000 a year and there are say 140 former MPs getting it, then that is an average $5,000 a year. So write them a cheque to compensate and then close the perk.

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