This is how democracy should work. Sunlight is the best disinfectant. Good on the Labour and Green MPS for pushing the issue.
[NZ Parliament’s] Speaker Lockwood Smith has caved in to pressure to release MPs spending on their travel perks after political parties rebelled against his initial stance by releasing their own expenses.
Today Dr Smith re-issued the last quarters’ expense disclosure with the cost of MPs travel perks included again. He said he would continue to include the costs of that travel in the future.
In a statement he said he had released the full set of expenses because of confusion created by the decision of some parties to release their own expenses. ….
Lockwood Smith is OK in my book. I could sort of see what he was thinking with his view that the travel perks were a legitimate entitlement MPs might feel embarrassed about using because of public scrutiny — sort of — but the public suspicion Members of Parliament act like ‘pigs at the trough’ (whether that’s a fair impression or not) can only be countered by full and regular clear disclosure. That’s the trend, chaps and chappesses, like it or not.
(Don’t get me started on Roger Douglas’s entitlement mentality, please. Or Rodney ‘perk-buster’ Hide.)