Gordhan takes stand against free flights

The finance minister says a proposal to provide free flights to retired MPs simply can’t be supported.

FILE: The finance minister says a proposal to provide free flights to retired MPs simply can’t be supported. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - National Treasury says government is in no position to foot the bill for a proposal that will see Members of Parliament (MPs) receiving 24 free flights a year, even in retirement.

If approved, retired MPs could claim free flights for up to 10 years after stepping down, depending on how much time they served.

Gordhan made the comments at the release of the preliminary revenue collection figures in Johannesburg earlier on Tuesday.

He confirmed he had discussed the proposal with Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu.

"We've agreed that the fiscus is not going to supply any additional money."

He also reminded government officials to live modestly.

"When we're looking at these sorts of issues, modesty is an important message to communicate with the public."

However, Gordhan added that whatever decision Parliament reached regarding the flights, it would have to be dealt with by the new administration.