5 Oct 2011

Overhaul of entitlements for MPs

9:31 pm on 5 October 2011

Responsibility for setting most travel and accommodation entitlements for MPs will be handed to an independent agency, under legislation introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

The Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill repeals the Civil List Act. It is based on changes recommended by the Law Commission last year.

The Remuneration Authority will be responsible for most entitlements, in addition to the role it already plays in pay-setting.

The legislation also increases the amount an MP's pay can be docked for not attending Parliament from $10 per sitting day to $270 per day.

A voluntary regime for publishing MPs' travel and accommodation expenses will be written into law.

Prime Minister John Key says the changes will put more power in the hands of independent decision-makers and increase public confidence in the regime for setting entitlements for MPs and ministers.