Trans Tasman thinks there might be.
In its Play of the Week it says:
. . . But those with suspicious minds should consider how the Opposition is acting. The biggest spender, Chris Carter, snootily told media it was all a bit of politician bashing and answering for his $200,000 plus expenses was beneath him. Darren Hughes put it around National had changed the rules. But at question time? Silence. Normally something this embarrassing to the Govt would take up at least half question time.
If competing companies colluded like this the Commerce Commission would be all over them. The message for journos? Keep digging. There’s more.
I don’t think any of our MPs have moats to clean as some of their British counterparts do. But a window into their spending has been opened and taxpayers aren’t impressed by what’s been exposed.
John Key has ordered an inquiry into Ministerial expenses but that needs to be widened to all MPs’ expenses.
Good MPs more than earn their salaries, which for some are much less than they could command in the private sector; and I have no objection to them receiving a fair allowance or reimbursement for out of pocket work related expenses.
Air travel for children and spice* to join MPs in Wellington isn’t a problem either.
But all payments should end when they leave parliament and certainly shouldn’t continue for those found guilty of corruption.
It is reasonable to ensure the system doesn’t allow stretching the rules for those still employed by the taxpayer either. There is a suspicion that some MPs are taking more than their fair share of public money, albeit within the rules, and that the rigor which is applied to other public spending is not applied to all spending on and by MPs.
That suspicion will continue until and unless a full review takes place and it is clear the rules are fair to both MPs and taxpayers.
P.S. Trans Tasman is a weekly newsletter available on subscription. I subscribed a year ago after reading references to it in The Hive and consider the sub value for money. Whoever thought up the password for this month has a sense of humour.
*Spice n pl of husband, wife, spouse, partner and/or significant other.