10 Nov 2009

Hide, Anderton support scrapping MP travel perk

10:29 am on 10 November 2009

Some politicians say they would support the scrapping of MPs' entitlement to subsidised international travel.

MPs who have served at least 12 years in Parliament get a 90% subsidy on overseas travel, including on business class airfares, for themselves and their partners. This also applies to former MPs elected before 1999.

Rodney Hide, who is paying back almost $22,000 for his partner's travel, says he would be happy to see the entitlement dropped altogether, as would the leader of the Progressives, Jim Anderton.

Labour won't go that far, but is urging its MPs to show restraint.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says there should be an independent review as it seems hard to justify why taxpayers should hand over thousands of dollars for MPs' overseas holidays.

Prime Minister John Key says it is up to individual MPs how they use their entitlements, but they must be aware they will come under scrutiny.

The travel subsidy could be considered under the review of parliamentary spending ordered by the Speaker of the House.