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In a move to help keep New Zealand politics honest, the Green Party has today released its MPs’ expenses under the old, more transparent, disclosure system.
“We do not support the change in the disclosure rules for MPs’ expenses as they make the system less transparent. The Green Party is committed to open honest Government so we have decided to release our own expenses under the old more accountable system,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.
“The Green Party started the move to disclosing expenses over a year ago by putting our expenses into the public arena and we have consistently called for an independent overhaul of the whole system so that the public can have confidence in it.
“The Appropriations Review led by Doug Kidd found that the current system is flawed, lacks independence and requires fundamental change. Unfortunately John Key’s Government seems to have ignored these recommendations.
It is unclear at this stage what the Speaker is going to release under the new disclosure rules, added Mrs Turei.
“The Speaker’s change to disclosure rules helps to bring into focus the use of travel expenses as a form of remuneration for MPs – this practice does not promote honest, transparent politics.
“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.
“The changes to the rules around when MPs can claim accommodation costs is also a step in the wrong direction and likely to undermine public confidence in the system.
“People who live permanently in Wellington should not be able to nominate a home base outside of the capital in order to receive more subsidies from the tax payer, said Mrs Turei.