p.s. my best guess at the moment is that officials missed my submission on support for the families of recently-retired dead MPs, because it doesn't rate a mention in their advice, while they seem to take a position on everything else that I said (sometimes agreeing, sometimes not).
the penalty for bad MPs is that voters can punish them or their party at the next election
Exactly. And an MP might have good reason to be AWOL. Some party might take up abstentionism and if their voters accept this, then maybe the MPs should be paid.
Incidentally, is an MP appearing as a defendant considered reasonable grounds for absence?
One option is to set the increase to a function of the economy e.g. the median % wage/benefit increase of all workers/work seekers. This would provide for incentives to raise actual wages and benefits, rather than pursue (untaxed) capital gains-affirmative policies.
Parliament? How about this - http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/21633