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MPs won't let perks go

Saturday 10 Aug 2013 9:52 a.m.

The U-turn has received cross-party support (Photo: Victoria Evans)

The U-turn has received cross-party support (Photo: Victoria Evans)

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Both Government and opposition MPs have dumped the idea of an independent body outside Parliament controlling all of their travel perks.

A Law Commission call to switch control of the perks to the Remuneration Authority was accepted by Prime Minister John Key in 2010 but changes to the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill return control of travel and accommodation perks to the Speaker, Fairfax Media reports.

The U-turn has received cross-party support.

The Speaker is the appropriate body to set the allowances, says Labour's Ruth Dyson, who is chairwoman of Parliament's Government Administration Select Committee.

The amended version still gives the authority the power to set travel perks for MPs' family members.

Last month, the clerk of parliament, Mary Harris, told the New Zealand Herald shifting control of travel perks to the authority might contravene the principle of Parliament's privilege to control its operations.

NZN

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