MP mother wants more free travel for partners

MP Kiri Allen had a baby at about the same time she got into parliament via Labour’s list. She is trying to get more free travel for MPs with young children so they can have more time with their family together.

Every parent who works has to compromise on family time, it just goes with the job.

MPs already have fairly generous pay and travel allowances.

Stuff:  Mum MP calls for travel cap change to help politicians with babies

One of Parliament’s new parents, Kiri Allen, has argued for a cap on taxpayer-funded travel for MPs’ partners to be lifted for those with young babies.

While MPs’ partners used to be allowed unlimited travel to be with the MP, the so-called “perk” was cut back in 2014 after excessive use by some.

…the partners of ordinary MPs get 20 trips a year maximum while ministers’ partners get 30 trips a year. The caps are set by the Remuneration Authority and can only be used to accompany MPs on work-related travel.

Twenty free trips a year doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Allen said the cap was difficult when her baby was less than six months old as it restricted her partner and baby to visiting Wellington only once every six weeks at a time the family wanted to spend as much time together as possible.

Speaking to the Herald afterwards, she said she knew calls to widen the entitlements could be “politically unpalatable”.

“But that would be an amendment I would advocate for if we were striving to make Parliament more family-friendly. I would advocate for an amendment for people for those first six months of a baby’s life.”

She said the entitlement should also be extended to caregivers rather than just partners.

So parents with babies can have anyone they like travelling with them to help them?

Parliament sits for 30 weeks per year between Tuesday and Thursday, and MPs living out of Wellington get to fly home at the end of short weeks in Parliament so it is hardly a long amount of time apart from both parents.

And being a list MP Allen doesn’t have the weekend commitments that electorate MPs have. It really isn’t a very onerous job for a fback bench list MP.

Allen knew what sort of job she was putting herself forward for, and will have known she was pregnant when campaigning to become an MP. But she wants more perks laid on.

I think she is trying to push her working conditions too far.

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. NOEL

     /  July 11, 2018

    Oh poor thing. Lets also other eat cake. Solders on overseas service an take a break on R and R with their families etc etc.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10405390/Higher-MP-perks-for-travel-housing

    Reply
    • Her baby, her responsibility. She can afford to pay for the flights, anyway. If she thinks it’s so important to be with it, she can always resign.

      Who says that we should be striving to make Parliament more family friendly ? MPs are paid to work as MPs and not to babysit their own children.

      She must have known the conditions before she stood, and was happy enough to accept them. Dream on, girl. Either put up with them or move over for someone else.

      The perception that MPs set these things for themselves will never die among the uninformed or those who want to be. They have no say at all in the matter.

      Reply
      • The cap wouldn’t mean that her wife couldn’t fly down at her own expense.Other MPs have to work these things out for themselves, and she should, too, She’s doing no favours to women MPs !

        I assumed that Kiri Allen would be Green, but she’s Labour.

        Reply
  2. Blazer

     /  July 11, 2018

    tell her to go on strike.

    Reply
  3. wooden goat

     /  July 11, 2018

    (Blazer – “Tell her to go on strike.” )

    I second that! Even better, get the whole lot of ’em to go on strike!
    Huge money saved and the “gears” of government ungummed for a while, able to run freely.

    Reply
  1. MP mother wants more free travel for partners — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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