20 Aug 2009

No freeze on travel perks for departing MPs - Wilson

5:20 pm on 20 August 2009

Former Speaker of the House Margaret Wilson has denied there ever was a freeze on travel perks for MPs leaving Parliament.

The current Speaker of the House, Lockwood Smith, says he is looking into why a freeze on entitlements for outgoing MPs elected before 1999 appears to have been reinstated just before last year's election.

Directions on entitlement from Ms Wilson issued in December 2007 say MPs' travel entitlements are frozen at what they would have got at the end of the 2002-2005 term.

Despite that, Ms Wilson says the Parliamentary Service Commission - made up of MPs from all parties - discussed changing the rules but never made a final decision.

Ms Wilson says just before the election in November, several MPs asked her to confirm what their entitlements would be.

Ms Wilson says she allowed the status-quo after the majority of parties agreed.