Unbelievable

The Herald reports:

Independent MP was going to use his international travel perk for an overseas holiday but cancelled it after media found out, it was reported tonight.

Mr Carter booked flights for himself and his partner Peter Kaiser, business class to Colombo, Sri Lanka, just before Speaker Lockwood Smith last month stopped MPs from using the taxpayer subsidy for holidays, TV3 News reported.

It would have cost an estimated $13,900 – with 90 per cent paid for from the public purse.

Would have been somewhat fitting if the last use of the MP perk had been by Chris Carter.

Mr Carter is quitting politics at next year’s election, and as a former MP he will be able to use the international travel rebate for the rest of his life, without media scrutiny.

It may give him the incentive to quite before the election, so he can start using it earlier.

And Kate Chapman at Stuff also reports:

Mr Carter was not keen to discuss details of the trip when contacted last night. “We have cancelled it. We’ve lost the deposit. We’ve cancelled. We’re not going. Ok, fair enough? You guys have had yet another victory. So thanks, that’s the end of the discussion.”

Poor Chris. This transparency thing is a real burden.

Mr Carter has accused Dr Smith’s office of leaking the details of his trip.

“The leak had the date I was leaving, the hotel I was staying [at] in Singapore, the flight numbers – the only people that know that are Parliamentary Travel and the Speaker’s office, I’m quite sure that Parliamentary Travel wouldn’t have leaked it, so that only leaves one suspect,” he said. The leak was ” incredibly pathetic, vindictive and spiteful”.

Dr Smith has denied leaking the documents and said he did not even know about Mr Carter’s planned trip.

“I didn’t want to comment because I didn’t want to lend dignity to his accusation, but I didn’t even know he was going anywhere, so there was no way I could possibly have leaked anything.”

I have no idea who leaked it, but I agree unlikely to be parliamentary travel. The parliamentary travel office probably have awarded Chris the title of “Most Valued Customer” for his outstanding contributions to their sales targets.

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