Scrap the free plane tickets for former MPs, Cosatu tells Parliament

Last week, Parliament published the new policy, which limits flights to 12 per year for all former MPs, members of the Cabinet, and their spouses.

FILE: The benefit also expires after five years of leaving Parliament. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - Cosatu on Monday called on Parliament to totally scrap the number of free plane tickets for former members of Parliament (MPs) and their spouses.

The federation said these provisions in Parliament’s new travel policy should not just be reduced but completely done away with.

Last week, Parliament published the new policy, which limits flights to 12 per year for all former MPs, members of the Cabinet, and their spouses.

The benefit also expires after five years of leaving Parliament.

While Cosatu said this was a move in the right direction, it was not enough and Parliament must scrap all benefits, including free plane tickets for all former MPs and their spouses.

Cosatu's Mathew Parks said flights were tools of trade and were no different from cell phone and car allowances that were provided to MPs while in office, but these were not lifelong benefits.

He said entertaining spouses and flying them around the country was the responsibility of the persons who married them and not the taxpayer.

Parliament said the new policy was to mainly address “unjustifiable costs” driven by travel benefits.