Monday, November 15, 2010

Key wants to retain the rort

This afternoon, John Key announced that he would be writing to the Speaker to ask that MP's international travel perk be abolished. This is good, but at the same time I can't help but notice that he's not going all the way. Firstly, he would retain the perk for MPs first elected before 1999 - meaning that both Bill English (the man who rorted us for half a million to live in his own home in Wellington) and Pansy Wong would get to keep abusing it. Secondly, he would retain it for former MPs as well.

The "justification" in both cases is that the perk formed part of older MPs' remuneration package, and so cannot be renegotiated after the fact. Firstly, as I have already pointed out, that's just bullshit - MPs have always been extremely well paid. Secondly, its always been a rort - there has never been any justification for the perk, and it serves no Parliamentary purpose. It should never have been given out; the reason it was is of course because MPs get to set their own perks through the Parliamentary Services Commission, and have always been happy to vote themselves more at taxpayers expense. There is no injustice in ending this rort; the injustice is that these parasites have been allowed to steal from us for so long.

If we want to end the perk, we should do just that, not enact some pissy little half-measure. MPs have been stealing from us for long enough. Its long past time it stopped.