Herald Editorial call B.S. on defence of troughing

Editorial : MPs better get used to public eye on expensesParliament is hard on marriages, we hear. We hear it every time an elected member issues a notice of separation. It seems a kindness to say it. But now that it is being said in defence of members’ accommodation and travel perks, we… [NZ Herald Politics]

Nice to see the NZ Herald calling bullshit on the spurious defence for troughing MPs and slaps Chris Carter, Lockwood Smith and all MPs.

Is Parliament really so poisonous to healthy marriages that the taxpayers ought to provide unusual compensations? It is not the only industry that routinely takes people away from home for several nights a week. Fishing, film-making, commercial travelling and many others are equally or more demanding of time away from home. And most of them are not as visible to the public as Parliament. In that fishbowl there are pressures reinforcing relationships that would seem to balance the pressures threatening them.

They should HTFU.

Public life carries its own obligations and compensations. One of the primary obligations is to be exemplary and the compensations come in the form of public recognition rather than monetary reward. Exemplary status means that a member sacrifices some privacy. Some of our MPs are learning this lesson the hard way with the increased transparency of their accommodation and travel allowances.

Precisely. None more so than Chris Carter with his sense of entitlement.

Labour’s high-spending traveller and former Education Minister Chris Carter tried to duck media questions for too long last week. He finally faced reporters and later accused them of unusual interest in his travel because his partner, who he said often accompanied him, is the same sex. It was of course the amount of Mr Carter’s spending that drew attention. A heterosexual who headed Labour’s list would be under just as much pressure to explain the bills.

Exactly. He needs to harden up. He still hasn’t explained his unsual itinerary through bangkok though on the way to China.

All their allowances, for accommodation and travel, ought to be no more or less than they need to do their job. The allowances are not compensations for supposedly inadequate salaries. Their alternative earning capabilities, like the threat to their marriages, is a convenient myth in most cases. There is no shortage of applicants for their job and no mention of marital needs when they apply for it.

They can stand far more exposure of personal expenses and now that it has begun, they had better get used to it.

Exactly and long may it continue.