Sunday, November 17, 2013


Robyn Ironside The Courier-Mail November 15, 2013

QUEENSLAND MPs will be able to claim an extra $105 a day to cover the cost of meals while at State Parliament. 
The MPs have been granted the payment despite having access to taxpayer-subsidised meals for as little as $4.20.

Eighty of the 89 MPs who have free accommodation at the Parliamentary Annexe will be eligible for payments, with no receipts needed.

Nine mostly city-based MPs who are not provided with a room because of space restrictions can already claim a $315 daily travel allowance for an overnight stay in Brisbane.

The changes are included in the latest determination released by the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal last night.

MPs who have a room in the parliamentary annexe can stay during visits to Brisbane for sitting days and other business, but currently do not qualify for daily travel allowance.

"Effective from October 15, 2013, MPs who are provided with overnight accommodation in the Parliamentary Annexe will be able to make a claim for one-third of the capital city Daily Travel Allowance amount for an overnight stay in Brisbane when conducting parliamentary business," said the determination.

MPs and their guests currently have access to taxpayer-subsidised meals at the parliamentary canteen with hot dinners for as little as $4.20.

At the Members' Dining Room, a buffet breakfast can be had for $6.65, and a three-course meal for $10.55.

The tribunal found motor vehicle allowance should remain unchanged but increased the daily travel allowance.

Instead of $305 a day when visiting capital cities in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, MPs will now receive a payment of $315 to cover food and other expenses.

The allowance for visiting regional towns will rise from $240 to $270 a day and the overseas daily travel allowance of $333 remains the same.

All payments are in addition to a "general travel allowance" of between $18,360 and $61,720 to cover the costs of commuting from electorate offices to Parliament.

Last month the tribunal granted MPs an 8.5 per cent pay rise, or $12,000 a year for backbenchers, taking their base pay to $148,848.



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