More transparency

The wave of transparency under this Government keeps rolling on. At first it was just summary expenses of MPs. Then it was also credit card details for Ministers, And a few days ago also announced quarterly releases of credit card details for Department CEOs. And today we see even former Governor-Generals will not be exempt.

The Herald reports:

The new era of transparency over expenses paid by the public purse will extend to former governors-general under a bill introduced to Parliament yesterday.

Expenses of free domestic travel and chauffer-driven VIP cars paid for by Internal Affairs will have to be specified for each former governor-general in the department’s annual report.

It will probably pave the way for similar disclosures for the expenses of former prime ministers, because the funding for both retired groups comes out of the same appropriation.

The information can be obtained under the Official Information Act but it is not routinely published. …

The new transparency clause is one of the provisions of the Governor-General Bill, the main provision of which is to end the tax exemption for governors-general.

It will take effect from the appointment of the next governor-general.

The bill is here. It also changes the tax status of the Governor-General so they will in future pay tax on their salary. It was previously seen as inappropriate as taxation was in the name of the crown, and they represented the crown. But as even the Queen has been paying income tax since 1993, it is good we are catching up!

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