MPs to have more flexibility with allowances

MPs will be given more flexibility in spending taxpayer-funded allowances following a remuneration review.

The Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal on Tuesday announced politicians could use up to 20% of their electoral or communications allowances on other expenses.

Tribunal chair Professor Tim Brailsford said the change was designed to let MPs better use their electoral funds.

"The amendment to allow a transfer from underspent to overspent allowances is recognition that not all electorates are the same," he said.

"Queensland is a diverse state and the changes announced today reflect that diversity."

The review followed the new MP allowance system introduction on January 1 this year.

Mr Brailsford said Queensland politicians had widely accepted the new system.

"MPs have generally accepted and adapted to the new arrangements and their feedback has been mostly positive," he said.

"We have announced some tweaks today which were inevitable considering the extensive nature of the changes to the system."

Mr Brailsford said the review found the new system was too rigid and did not allow for different approaches to vastly different electorates.

He said the decision to allow politicians to transfer up to 20% of unspent funds from their electorate allowance or information and communication allowance could cover overspends in the other allowance.

Mr Brailsford stressed the amendment will not alter the total amount of funds available to any MP.

This increased flexibility will impact acquittals from the end of the current financial year.

- APN NEWSDESK



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