According to big-spending Labour MP Chris Carter he's being victimised by the media because he's gay!

Said the jetsetting former Labour minister:

'Why was there no interest in any other minister taking their partner with them, only me? Why should that be?'

'The only conclusion that I can draw from that is it's because I'm gay, and that if I was a heterosexual minister taking my husband or wife with me, it would be of no interest.'

This was such an absurd claim that leader Phil Goff was forced into publicly disagreeing with his silly MP. He flatly denied that he thought Carter had been singled out by the media because he was gay.

'I think this is more about media balance,' he told the media.

'They had a fair go at (Finance Minister) Bill English about his housing allowance, they wanted to have a look at one of the people who travelled more than most.'

Goff, of course, knows something about expenses. In the first six months of this year he racked up nearly $125,000 worth of travel expenses, which made him the biggest spender outside of Cabinet.

Meanwhile Parliament's Speaker, Lockwood Smith, says he does not intend to release figures showing the expenditure of MPs on private overseas travel, using between a 25 per cent and 95 per cent discount.

Smith initially said that he would but he now seems intent on trying to protect the perk crazy MPs from further scrutiny over their expense claims.

So, says Smith, while the MPs get to spend taxpayer money the taxpayer isn't going to be provided with full details on how that money is being spent.

Smith has also come out in defence of former MPs spending up large.

Long-serving former MPs enjoy free domestic travel and heavily subsidised international travel. There are more than 250 of them flying around at taxpayer expense.

Smith thinks this is just fine and claims it is 'valid recompense for long service.' Service to who exactly?

Matt McCarten got it right when he wrote in his New Zealand Herald column yesterday:

In my opinion there is an ethical sickness in our Parliament when even senior MPs no longer see themselves as the people's servants in public duty, but as political elites who are entitled to the maximum remuneration and perks they can give themselves.


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