The recession has not affected Parliament's travel budget and the Junket of the Year for ordinary MPs - the Speaker's Easter Tour - will depart next week as usual.

Prime Minister John Key also confirmed yesterday that the budget vote that funds ministers' offices will not be cut in the spending review under way by other departments.

Speaker Lockwood Smith will take four MPs on a 10-day tour of Vietnam and Japan over the Easter break.

The MPs are entitled to fly business class by themselves or to bring a spouse and go economy class. Most of the internal costs are paid by the host country.

Dr Smith will be accompanied by fiance Alexandra Lang and National list MP Nicky Wagner is taking her husband.

Labour will be spending two list MPs, Ashraf Choudhary and first-termer Raymond Huo.

Act MP and electoral law campaigner John Boscawen will complete the party.

Last year's Speaker's tour was subjected to more criticism than usual because three of the four MPs were voluntarily retiring MPs, Katherine Rich, Brian Connell and Marian Hobbs. The fourth, Peter Brown, was compulsorily retired at last year's election.
Countries often have a reciprocal arrangement in covering internal costs of interparliamentary travel. However a spokesman for Parliamentary Service, Warren Inkster, said New Zealand did not meet any of the costs of British MPs that were here last week looking into binge drinking.

The MPs have got into strife back home after the Mail on Sunday reported that the trip by seven MPs cost 70,000 ($176,000).

The money being spent by MPs and ministers this financial year was part of last year's Budget. Mr Inkster said Parliamentary Service had conducted a line by line review on spending and was working with the Speaker as the responsible minister.

Parliament Service is responsible for the funding of MPs; Ministerial Services is responsible for the funding of ministers.

Mr Key said the budget for Ministerial Services, for which he is the responsible minister, would not be cut. "They are quite a small ministry and it is not possible to have enormous cuts.

"There is always a trade-off between making sure we don't waste taxpayers money and making sure we carry out our functions and responsibilities as Members of Parliament. I'd like to think that MPs are cognisant of that and they are not wasting taxpayers' money."

* The cost of the Speakers' tour was not available yesterday but business class flights from Auckland to Vietnam, Vietnam to Tokyo and Tokyo to Auckland would cost about $10,000 each.

2001 - JONATHAN HUNT
Brazil, Chile, Argentina, US.

John Carter, National.
Harry Duynhoven, Labour.
Rodney Hide, Act.
Winston Peters, New Zealand First.

2002 - JONATHAN HUNT
Spain, France, England, Scotland.

Jill Pettis, Labour.
Lindsay Tisch, National.
Sue Kedgley, Green.
Bernie Ogilvy, United Future.

2003 - JONATHAN HUNT
China, Japan, Hong Kong.

Lynne Pillay, Labour.
Lynda Scott, National.
Doug Woolerton, New Zealand First.
Muriel Newman, Act.

2004 - JONATHAN HUNT
Russia, Estonia, Latvia, France.

Paul Hutchison, National.
David Parker, Labour.
Sue Bradford, Greens.
Murray Smith, United Future.

2005 - MARGARET WILSON
Canada, US, Mexico.

Nanaia Mahuta, Labour.
David Carter, National.
Ron Mark, New Zealand First.
Gerry Eckhoff, Act.

2006 - MARGARET WILSON
Brussels, Turkey.

Moana Mackey, Labour.
Colin King, National.
Paula Bennett, National.
Judy Turner, United Future.

2007 - MARGARET WILSON
Germany, the Netherlands, Norway.

Maryan Street, Labour.
Jo Goodhew, National.
Kate Wilkinson, National.
Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party.

2008 - MARGARET WILSON
Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary.

Marian Hobbs, Labour.
Katherine Rich, National.
Brian Connell, National.
Peter Brown, New Zealand First.

2009 - LOCKWOOD SMITH
Vietnam, Japan.

Nicky Wagner, National.
Ashraf Choudhary, Labour.
Raymond Huo, Labour.
John Boscawen, Act.

- ADDITIONAL REPORTING: Kristina Koveshnikova