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Report On MPs' Allowances And Entitlements

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton today released the reports into whether Phillida Bunkle and Marian Hobbs had appropriately claimed and received relevant entitlements and allowances.

The reports were prepared by Parliamentary Service and the Higher Salaries Commission.

The reports confirm that in the judgement of Parliamentary Service the Wellington accommodation allowances were paid properly.

Helen Clark and Jim Anderton however called for greater clarity around the question of 'primary place of residence' once a member has declared Wellington to be their place of residence on an enrolment form.

In that regard they welcomed the intention of the Higher Salaries Commission to give further consideration to the issue of whether a member's enrolment on a Wellington electoral roll would in future influence the payment of the allowance.

"Parliamentary Service follows the direction of the Higher Salaries Commission in the payment of allowances to MPs.

"Under the first-past-the-post electoral system this was straightforward where all members were constituency-based and it was clearer where a member's primary place of residence was.

"In the MMP era these definitions need to be revisited and we support the Higher Salaries Commission's intention to do that.

"The government would also welcome the Audit Office looking at the general issue of allowances to ensure clear guidelines are set down, so that the public are reassured that public money paid on allowances is always properly appropriated," Helen Clark and Jim Anderton said.


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