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More benefits on the cards for MPs

A controversial proposal that will allow MPs access to free flights has reportedly been pushed through.

A controversial new proposal that will allow MPs access to 24 free flights a year has reportedly been pushed through by Parliament’s oversight committee. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A controversial new proposal that will allow MPs access to 24 free flights a year has reportedly been pushed through by an oversight committee.

The Sunday Times is reporting that the new benefits will be extended to MPs for 10 years after their retirement.

The newspaper reports that MPs who have only served one term in Parliament would qualify for eight economy class flights a year at the tax payer's expense while those who serve three terms would qualify for 24 business class flights.

The proposal was approved by Parliament's oversight committee which consists of senior parliamentarians such as National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu and National Council of Provinces chairman Mninwa Mahlangu.

It's also emerged that the benefits would be extended to members who don't make it back to parliament after this year's general elections such as axed communications minister Dina Pule who has withdrawn her nomination by the ANC.

Several opposition parties have already criticised the move which goes against Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's restrictions on benefits for MPs.

Irregular expenditure rose from R1,8 billion in the 2011/2012 financial year to R2,4 billion in 2012/2013, Auditor General Kimi Makwetu revealed in February.

In January North West Premier Thandi Modise's office defended her purchase of a new BMW 750i, which cost R1.3 million, saying reports suggesting the acquisition was a snub at Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's call for cost cutting are disingenuous, absurd and malicious.

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