Perks gone

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.

Lockwood Smith 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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