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PSC refuses full overhaul of MPs expenses

PSC refuses full overhaul of MPs expenses and keeps ex MP flying perk

The Parliamentary Services Commission last night blocked a move by the Green Party to set up an independent overhaul of MPs expenses and entitlements. It did agree to end the international travel perk for current MPs but not for ex MPs.

“It is good to see that the other political parties have finally agreed to stop subsidising international holidays for current MPs but there is no reason why ex MPs should continue to get this perk,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei today.

Mrs Turei put the following motion to PSC:

That the PSC advises the Speaker that he should establish an independent body to undertake two tasks. The first task is to review the MPs expenses and allowances system, including all travel allowances, with a view to a clear separation of personal and Parliamentary benefit from the use of expenses. The second task is to advise the Speaker on the best form for an independent body whose role is to set and determine MPs expenses and allowances.

The Parliamentary Services Committee refused to make this recommendation.

“It is very disappointing that the other political parties have again failed to recommend a full independent overhaul of the system. The time for making the right noises is over, it is time for all the parties to take action to help keep New Zealand politics honest,” said Mrs Turei.

“The current system isn’t working and it is undermining public confidence in Parliament.

“The public deserve a system that is simple, clear and fair. Our proposal is that an independent body be set up and asked to develop a system that promotes transparency and clearly separates legitimate work expenses from remuneration.

“The Green Party has consistently called for an independent overhaul of the whole system so that the public can have confidence in it,” said Mrs Turei.

ENDS

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