Moana Moeka'a: MPs’ travel budget

Tuesday March 31, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

Can I ask the Speaker of Parliament as to why the extra $200,000 was appropriated for MP Travel and Allowances (local and overseas), and why the Civil List has been topped up by $30,000 for Constituency Visits, in the supplementary budget passed last Wednesday?

 

It is quite obvious that the money is not going to be expended in the coming months as no one is travelling because of Covid-19.

So, unless I am wrong, the money for Constituency Visits (from $170,200 up to $200,200) and MP Travel and Allowances (from $341,000 up to $541,000) was spent in the first nine months of the 2019/20 financial year (July 2019 - March 2020).  So if the former clerk was sacked for allowing the new debating chamber to go over budget by $350,000 (from $300,000), can I ask as to whether anyone needs to go over the allowances and Civil List blowout in the Parliamentary Services budget?

Why didn’t Parliamentary Services put on a charter flight to Mangaia to pick up the two Opposition MPs for last week’s one-day Parliamentary sitting? Or would that have been a waste of money?  I guess if an MP had to be picked up from the Northern group, it would not have been a problem to charter a jet aircraft. It is my understanding that the Speaker has the power to allow the Civil List and MP allowances to be subject to public scrutiny.

I just wonder if government is truly of the people, by the people and for the people?

Moana Moeka'a,

Ruatonga

1 comment

  • Comment Link Edna Dashwood Wednesday, 01 April 2020 07:41 posted by Edna Dashwood

    Good on you Moana. Surely you don't seriously wonder that?! Though I see one source of emergent and actual leadership in that party I had to vote for due to a lack of realistic alternative, there needs to be a conscious will to Ethics. At the same time, these politicians don't fall from the sky: they're a product of our society and it's values. Do we as citizens need to look a bit closer at ourselves and our attitudes to each other, the things we prioritize in order to effect a people led leader eventually? I have to say, ours is a brutal sociey at times which rewards unethical behavior with prosperity. It's such a shame. We used to be lovely people.

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