Speaker should call for an independent review

Press Release – Green Party

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is calling on the Speaker of the House Dr Lockwood Smith, to promote genuine transparency over MPs expenses in the wake of his announcement to change the current expenses disclosure regime.30 October 2010

Speaker should call for an independent review to promote transparency

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is calling on the Speaker of the House Dr Lockwood Smith, to promote genuine transparency over MPs expenses in the wake of his announcement to change the current expenses disclosure regime.

Dr Smith earlier this week ruled that some details of MPs subsidised travel will no longer be public.

“The Green Party led on the disclosure of expenses, which was then followed by the Speaker,” said Mrs Turei.

“The system needs to progress towards more transparency not less.

“This change in the disclosure rules ultimately provides less transparency over how taxpayer’s money is used and is a step in the wrong direction.

“Only an independent review can provide genuine transparency and simplicity to the system.

“Salary and expenses must be separated but the Speaker refuses to consider how this should be done.

“The international travel subsidy, which increases over time, is the only system for recognising long service.

“Should MPs who have served 10 or 20 years be paid more than an MP who has served only three?

“And, if so, should that be done through salary or through travel perks that are now, not as transparent?

“Travel expenses should be for work related travel, and remuneration should be provided through a salary – mixing the two up creates confusion and perverse incentives.

“The Speaker has an opportunity to lead on a core issue of public confidence, to ensure we have a system for remuneration and expenses that meets 21st century expectations.

“Efforts to protect the existing system will only bring it further into public disrepute,” said Mrs Turei.

ENDS

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