End of the line for MP perks
Perks available to former State MPs will be axed or scaled back after a decision by the independent umpire that sets politicians’ pay.
The Salaries and Allowances Tribunal last week revealed longstanding arrangements for MPs elected before 1999 would be abolished immediately.
The changes, in line with recommendations by Colin Barnett, include an entitlement to travel by rail or converting the entitlement to a return airfare across Australia — a perk the tribunal said was from the days when the State Government owned the railways and the cost of providing free travel was minimal. However, it said times had “significantly changed” and the benefit was “no longer appropriate”.
Also contained in the tribunal’s ruling was a decision to “significantly reduce the scale” of benefits available to former premiers.
The SAT said WA’s six living former premiers would no longer have automatic access to an office, staff and a Government vehicle in the six months after they left office.
Instead, they will now have to claim expenses provided they have been “reasonably” incurred and arisen “directly” from their former role.
This will apply to the Premier regardless of whether he wins or loses Saturday’s State election.
After a string of negative quarters dating back to early 2015, WA Premier Colin Barnett has at last received good economic news that the domestic side of the State economy has grown for the first time in 18 months.