Speaker Lockwood Smith is allowing MPs to use their international travel discounts to travel overseas for parliamentary work with his permission as an interim arrangement until the Remuneration Authority takes over MPs' perks.

Dr Smith's office has confirmed that the recent decision by the Government to hand over decisions on all MPs' perks and allowances by the end of next year will not affect his decision to abolish the use of the international travel rebates for private travel such as holidays.

However, other changes Dr Smith expected to make next year - including to accommodation and domestic travel allowances - were now unlikely to be acted on and would instead be left to the Remuneration Authority. His office said that because that handover of setting MPs' entitlements was expected to take at least a year, he would go ahead and abolish the travel perk.

Dr Smith was consulting MPs about the parameters for the use of a new scheme, which would allow MPs to use their discounts of up to 90 per cent for parliamentary-related trips only.

Concerns are understood to include whether the Speaker or party leader should approve such trips and whether a high level of disclosure about their itineraries would reveal politically sensitive information, such as policy development, to their opponents.

His office confirmed yesterday an interim scheme would now apply under which MPs could travel using their discounts for parliamentary business if they had permission from the Speaker. Dr Smith agreed to abolish the perk last month after MPs backed a request from the Prime Minister for it to go following a series of perk scandals, culminating in Pansy Wong's resignation for a trip to China.

The Remuneration Authority is expected to take it into account when issuing its decision on MPs salary increases before Christmas.

The decision to abolish the perk predated Mr Key's announcement last week that the Government would hand decisions on MPs' entitlements over to the independent Remuneration Authority by the end of next year.

That decision has ensured other changes are likely to be put on hold, including to the accommodation allowance given to MPs who lived outside Wellington. They are entitled to claim up to $24,000 a year for the actual and reasonable accommodation expenses while in Wellington.

The Speaker was considering changing the rules after a review by former Speaker Doug Kidd recommended an end to the practice of allowing MPs to claim for mortgage interest on houses they owned or for rent on homes owned either by their own trust or front company, or by a relative or other close acquaintance.

The report said claiming for such properties led to the suspicion they were seeking to achieve private benefit at the public expense.

It followed media coverage of Finance Minister Bill English claiming accommodation expenses for his home in Wellington and other MPs "renting" from their own family trusts or companies.

Mr English no longer claims an allowance and the rules for ministerial accommodation were changed to a bulk sum payment. Among the casualties was the Green Party, which sold the houses owned by its superannuation fund, which were rented by the MPs using the accommodation allowance.

MPs have a variety of arrangements - some claim for interest on mortgages, others use hotels or board with others and some rent.