A report recommending a $13 million increase in parliamentary support, including 31 new staff for government ministers and equal funding for list and electorate MPs is "dead in the water", the Government says.
Shortly after National MP and Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee called it a "cash grab", Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said the Government would not take up the recommendations of the seventh triennial appropriation review committee report.
The independent report, by former MPs Dame Annette King and Eric Roy and former Treasury official and economist Bill Moran, was released today.
"The report's authors, who include a former National Party MP, have done a thorough job and I commend them for that," Hipkins said.
"However, an increase in funding for parliamentary support is not a priority for the coalition Government and we will not be taking up the recommendations.
"The report is in effect dead in the water."
Hipkis said National was consulted on the report before it was finalised.
Brownlee said the report went well beyond the usual brief of considering resources MPs should have to best undertake their representative activities.
"The $13 million per year increase for additional staffing and resources is the biggest yet – a whopping 20 per cent."
He called it a "massive dip into taxpayer funds with the greatest advantage going to coalition partners Labour, the Greens and NZ First".
The report recommended funding for list MPs be equal to that of electorate MPs.
Another proposal was that regardless of the vote received at the elections, parties would get guaranteed levels of minimum funding following the 2020 election. A party receiving the 5 per cent threshold would get a minimum reflecting an 8 per cent result.
The report's authors said Parliament should be moving towards "MMP-plus".
"With a fixed number of seats, Members of Parliament are being asked to do more year-on-year.
"While funding has been adjusted retrospectively to reflect this growth, this has been on the assumption that the unit cost of representation is the same today as it was in 1996 – it is not."