Ending the age of entitlement for Hockey; Brough shines a light 240



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Mal Brough has stood up as the country’s shining light last night in the travel expenses saga that is rippling through the government and published his recent travel expenses on his website. And not only that, he has also pointed out to the country that his wife works as a volunteer in his Canberra office. At around the same time, Joe Hockey has been put under the blowtorch for taking his family to Perth in 2013, apparently on the anniversary of the day he made his speech about “The end of the age of entitlement”.

“Let me put it to you this way: The Age of Entitlement is over,’’ Mr Hockey said a year prior to the Institute of economic affairs in London on April 17 2012.

It leaves many of us ordinary people shaking our heads and wondering what will be uncovered next and in fact why families are able to fly business class at our taxpayer’s expense when we certainly cannot claim deductible trips for our own families when travelling for business. One community member even asked out loud whether we are paying FBT for the trips as well?

Mr Brough has shown us that not everyone is doing the wrong thing. He released the statement on his website cataloguing his travel this year, and provided links to detailed statements on each trip.

” In the interests of transparency I will be providing regular updates of my travel expenses.

You will note, in an effort to minimise travel expenses, I travel economy where possible and my wife works managing my Canberra office as a volunteer, without any remuneration. This saves the cost of staff travel and travel allowance and allows them to continue to serve the electorate whilst the parliament is sitting.

Most of my travel is between the electorate and parliament with  some additional travel undertaken in my role as Chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).” 

It comes at a time when the media is looking for horror stories having uncovered on Sunday the details of Joe Hockey flying his family to Perth business class in 2013 at a total cost of $14,566.

The age of entitlement is not apparent to Mr Hockey who has been feeling the heat all weekend. Hockey’s family travel, whilst allowed under the guidelines is the largest individual expenses allegation in recent weeks, with Bronwyn Bishop resigning as speaker for her $5000 helicopter expense, Tony Burke’s family business class flight and travel to Uluru worth $12,000 and Christopher Pyne’s expense claim for taking his family to Sydney.

As we all know, the media are unforgiving of the politicians alleged misuse of public money on personal travel, and they are baying for blood with the constituents of the nation behind them. It it is reflecting on the Government’s popularity with Bill Shorten surging ahead in recent polls as the government has failed to manage to shut down the expanding travel expenses debate. A Reachtel poll conducted by Fairfax on the eve of the return to Parliament says Mr Shorten is preferred by 58.5 per cent of voters to Mr Abbott’s 41.5, despite the Labor leader’s recent Royal Commission appearance and the fireworks at ALP National Conference.

Mr Hockey was asked yesterday if the family travel allowance should be scrapped and replied that “You’ve got to be precious with every dollar of taxpayers money, I’ve always said that.”

There has been allegations in recent days that Christopher Pyne  flew his family to Sydney for a Christmas holiday in 2009, spending $5000 to fly his wife and two children to the city for Christmas-New Year.  Department of Finance documents show each return flight from Adelaide cost $1200, and he claimed two nights’ travel allowance of $238 as well as $711 on Comcars.

His office is reported to have told The Australian on Saturday the then opposition education spokesman held a planning day with opposition leader Tony Abbott while in Sydney.

How do you feel about the unfolding travel expenses debate?  Do you find these new allegations are affecting your political views.  

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. If looking for a common thread try arrogance as well as not very smart. Oh what a tangled web you weave

  2. I can only speak for myself but if feel this way, then others probably will. This has all been compounded I feel by the arrogance of this Government. When you get on TV for months and want to cut the poorest and weakest in our society and call them names like “leaners” then run out and rort and steal from the taxpayer for your own self interest, then it is time for you to get of our Parliament , you have lost all credibility

    6 REPLY
  3. If it is ok to fly politicians families first class for family time, at taxpayers expense,, they should have the same requirements for every work related separations in every other work place.All those fly in fly out mining workers, truck drivers…etc..should require their employer to fly their families as well. if other employers can’t give this perk to their employees, why should we give it to politicians? They should be paid for what they do, and have the same working conditions as everyone else.

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    • Truck drivers get $30 a day TA, these pollies get around $500. Apparently they’re more special than truckies, who work their backsides off

    • Sue Todd
      Owner operator truck drivers get no such thing. And as the majority of truck drivers are owner operators, that means that very few of them would get a travel allowance.

    • LOL, bullshit Ruth. My husband has been a truckie for over 50 years, both as a driver and an owner-operator. He has always been able to claim his $30 a day. If you think the majority are owner-operators, you know nothing about the trucking industry. How long have you been involved with it? It’s very difficult for owner-operators to get loading because the big companies have it sewn up. I also have my semi licence, since 1980 actually, and I did interstate for several years.

  4. Ok, you politicians. When you travel for state or federal reasons, claim your expenses. But if your family travels with you, they are NOT entitled to travel at the taxpayer’s expense. Your expenses being travel, accomodation and meals only. But meals don’t include top of the range food and wine etc. You should be allocated so much for these expenses and if you exceed them, you pay the difference.

    9 REPLY
    • They are paid enormous amounts, get huge pensions the moment they step out of parliment even if they walk into a 6 figure job – and at the same time they take and take from the pensioners who worked hard, paid their taxes and now are made to feel so guilty for daring to live. I speak to a lot of pensioners and when he first got in – they were all saying … they want us dead they are trying to destroy us. What a lovely heart centered, compassionate bunch these polititans are NOT!

    • The big problem is they think it is normal procedure to include family as an expense. Are they paying any FBT on these family trips? I think not. It is a slap in the face when Cigar Joe tells us we have to tighten our belts whilst they are loosening theirs at our expense. Their is no morality in politics! Just greed.

    • If anyone working in any other job wants to take their family with them on a business trip, they pay the extra cost themselves. How many bosses would pay for a whole family’s travel, accommodation and meal expenses when an employee is working away?

    • HELLO THE RULES SAY LIMITED FAMILY TRAVEL before you come on here huffing and puffing read PARLIMENTARY ENTITLEMENTS right there on your computer .helps to know what you are talking about

    • jan marie brook pm paid 350 thousand head of world vision aust [carity] 520 thousand head of a public service dept 820 thousand .jailed union leader williamson 500 thousand bank bosses millions …SO JAN MARIE THE LEADERS OF THIS COUNTRY ARE PAID HUGE MONEY ..I THINK NOT

    • “LIMITED”. Who measures that Graeme Condely? Is it self assessed? Is there someone who tells them hey have reached their limit?

  5. To little to late, our Politicians are a disgrace and I do mean all of them, they talk about welfare rort yes I agree with that however certainly not from the people who worked their backsides off to build this Country

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    • Yes Kris, it’s amazing just what our Politicians label ENTITLEMENTS, which they APPROVED I must add.

    • someone put out a link and there are more rorts in the newspaper today from Abetz and Bernadi..when will this end? when the country goes broke?

    • Libbi I think you will find that they are all guilty of these RORTS, however it has been going on for decades and seeing as they are the people who approve of their so called ENTITLEMENTS it will continue because it is all these ENTITLEMENTS that keep them in Parliament.

  6. It doesn’t change my view it just proves that money talks louder than ethics and who you think is nice changes when in that situation and it doesn’t matter which party or individual.

  7. Well while Mal Brough is in the mood for a bit of honesty perhaps he’d like to come clean about the Slipper Affair. Honesty is not selective Mal. You’re either all honest or you’re not.

  8. I’m not sure if they really believe this is ok, or if they just thought they’d never be found out. They really need to learn more about social media, then they would understand that nothing is a secret any more

  9. We have been fed a diet of lies, secrecy, rorting and deception every since this Government came into power, Australians have had enough and the Reachtel Poll is reflecting that

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