Parliamentary salaries, allowances and other entitlements.

Our Interim Report (dated 21 March 2001) was concerned with the Wellington Accommodation Allowance, and its application in the cases of two Ministers. Our review of those cases revealed a range of administrative difficulties with the allowance, and significant ambiguities in the rules of eligibility.

It soon became apparent to us that the difficulties and ambiguities are not limited to the Wellington Accommodation Allowance.

The systems, policies, and procedures applying to salaries, allowances and other entitlements of MPs and Ministers have evolved over time to meet a variety of needs. Because of this, they have not always been guided by a clear set of principles or desired outcomes.

This Final Report seeks to promote transparency in the remuneration and support of MPs.

We propose five principles to guide improvements to the current regime, and we present three possible options for change. We acknowledge that other options are possible, and that Parliament itself must decide what change should take place.

However, regardless of how change is put into effect, we strongly recommend that the "five guiding principles" be embodied in the approach taken.

D J D Macdonald

18 July 2001