Tuesday 21 Aug 2018 | 08:00 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 21 Aug 2018 | 08:00 | SYDNEY

MP travel: Pay it forward


Sam Roggeveen


20 March 2008 15:17

Putting aside the strict legalities of politicians accepting overseas travel from business interests, it is a bad look. The obvious solution seems to be to substantially increase the pay and allowances of MPs so that there is no appearance of them accepting potentially compromising favours from foreign governments or companies.

Of course, the idea of improving the financial lot of politicians is seen as politically suicidal, but here's a modest proposal to get around that problem: forward-date the pay raises. That is, double MP wages and increase their travel allowances, but legislate to ensure that such a regime will not kick in for, say, ten years, so that it is clear to the public that the majority of current MPs will not benefit.

A similar scheme could be used to renovate The Lodge, in need of upgrade to properly accomodate the Prime Minister and host foreign dignitaries. Why not start a fund that will invest money which will be used to renovate the building in a decade's time?