MPs could lose some of their treasured travel perks if Parliament picks up recommendations from the independent committee which checks the way it spends taxpayer money.
The Parliamentary Appropriations Review Committee says in its latest report, released yesterday, that it sees no good reason to retain the international travel rebate in its current form.
The rebate ranges from 25 percent to 90 percent, depending on length of service.
"None of the other jurisdictions we examined provide international travel entitlements for MPs or their spouses/partners for personal purposes," the report says.
"Our preferred approach is that the rebate be discontinued and that MPs' salaries be adjusted to reflect the remunerative component of this entitlement...there would be an approximate 10 percent increase on average but no change in MPs' total remuneration as the subsidies for private travel would be discontinued."
The committee isn't satisfied with the uncapped domestic travel entitlements for MPs and their spouses either.
"An individual MP can effectively determine part of their own remuneration," the report says.
"Moreover, the regime often mixes private benefit with the reimbursement of parliamentary business expenses within the same entitlement.
"As a result it is often not possible to discern whether an MP's claim under the regime is remunerative in nature or relates to an expense incurred in carrying out his or her job as an MP."
The committee recommends funding for spouses', partners' and dependents' domestic travel should be limited to travel associated with parliamentary business.
Another of its recommendations is something MPs have been resisting for years -- an independent body to set the rules around their allowances.
"MPs should consider whether it is appropriate for them to continue to be involved in determining the benefits they receive," the report says.
"An increasing number of parliaments with whom the New Zealand Parliament might be compared have moved or are moving to have the allowances and entitlements of MPs determined by an independent body."
The committee is chaired by former speaker Sir Douglas Kidd. Its recommendations will be considered by Speaker Lockwood Smith.