The Speaker has finally sounded the death knell on travel perks after almost 40 years of MPs enjoying taxpayer-subsidised flights for their private international trips and holidays.
Lockwood Smith announced last night that the perks giving MPs discounted international travel would no longer be available for them.
Although he has previously defended MPs' rights to discounted travel, he admitted he had "failed" to convince the public and said it was clear the political consensus was now for them to go.
"I think I had formed a view some days ago that change was inevitable."
However, he intended to set up a scheme to allow backbench and Opposition MPs to travel on parliamentary-related trips of their own initiative, rather than the limited opportunities for official travel.
He said the new scheme would have tight rules and was likely to require some personal contribution from MPs towards costs.
From the moment that John Key opined that MP's travel perks ought to go, Lockwood Smith's hands were tied. We'll wait and see what proposals he comes up with and what the Remuneration Authority recommends, but it's certainly a step in the right direction.