Free flights for retired MPs?

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Parliament Independent Newspapers Parliament in Cape Town. Photo: Matthew Jordaan

Johannesburg - Retired MPs could get up to 24 free flights a year for 10 years, according to a proposal currently before Parliament, the Sunday Times reports.

Parliament's oversight authority recently recommended that retired MPs and their spouses get free plane tickets, at taxpayer's expense, based on how many years they had served as MPs.

An MP who had served one term (five years) would get eight economy-class tickets a year for 10 years, 16 economy-class tickets a year for 10 years for two terms, and 24 business-class tickets a year for 10 years after serving three terms.

Democratic Alliance deputy Chief Whip Sandy Kalyan said the idea was to “level the playing field” between benefits granted to former MPs and those for former ministers and deputy ministers.

Kalyan served on the task team that reviewed the travel policy.

The proposal is contained in the oversight authority's 2013 annual report, tabled recently.

The authority is the highest policy-making authority for parliamentarians and includes National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu and National Council of Provinces chairman Mninwa Mahlangu.

Sisulu was expected to discuss the proposal with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe. - Sapa



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