When will it be time to take the sugar away from our Pollies? 109



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Being a politician in Australia might not be the highest paid job many of our leaders could get, but it is meant to be socially very rewarding. However it seems some of our pollies are a little mixed up about who they are here to benefit. We know Bronwyn Bishop is a lost cause, but to see the other hands in the biscuit tin gradually having their greedy behaviours leaked out, we ask, is it time to cut back on sugar for our pollies?

Do politicians need to charge the attendance at party dinners to the public purse? Do they need to charge their attendance at colleague’s weddings? Do they need to catch a helicopter down the road or a charter flight across the country? Or do they need to invest in a house in Canberra in their wife’s name and charge the mortgage back as a living away allowance? It sure does make you wonder what kind of diet we’ve had people in politics on for such a large amount of time that it has become “status quo” to expect they can do such things without question doesn’t it?

Would the ATO find it amenable if I claimed such comforts on my own tax return as living away from home allowances while I rent the house at less than arm’s length from my husband? Would the ATO let me charge attendance at my industry peer’s wedding on my tax? I think not. So what is the difference, dare I ask?

I have to say what many are thinking… and that is our pollies look like they need a darned good sugar free diet for a while to reset their consumptive ways.

They point their finger at the average Australian saying we want too much, and place too many demands on our economy, but are they the shining light of repute.

And we’re not even talking about how much they cost us in their retirement. POST retirement benefits for Australia’s federal politicians are a huge expense for our taxpayers. Even with the limiting measures set down in this year’s budget, MPs once retired get a range of travel benefits, access to staffing for the former Prime Ministers and even spouse benefits.

The poor pollies suffered cutbacks in 2014 to  working entitlements, including domestic and overseas travel, chauffeured cars, office fit-outs and telecommunications but let’s face it, it has not slowed any of them down much.

Now, I take care in this not to take political sides. I see both parties, or all parties, quite frankly as complicit in this. It has gone on for decades, through both sides of politics, with everyone enjoying the lavish nature of public service.

So what can we do about it? It is quite clear that public scrutiny is not enough to reform their ways. Dear Bronwyn Bishop has shown no remorse really and plenty of other stories are leaching out.

Do you think it is time to set more reasonable expectations around travel and expenditure from the public purse?

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. That train has left the station, these people make their own rules. The corruption in local council is where it all starts.

  2. You are spot on Rebecca. A greater percentage of the general public are not aware of what our politicians earn, claim as extras and are entitled to after leaving the political arena.
    We, the public, elect these people to represent us in parliament. Therefore we (the public) have every right to nominate their wages, their allowances and what benefits they can claim after retiring/resigning from their jobs, if any.
    With the wages that they earn, they should be able to pay their own way to private functions etc. Most of these “pollies” spouses are in highly paid positions in the private sector, and surely don’t require “handouts”
    Make the politicians more accountable. The public should know what these people’s assets, wages, expenses and after parliamentary benefits are, and we should have control over these.
    It’s crazy, our Prime Minister being paid more than the President of the USA.

  3. This i s a well thought out item, most of the pol lies are in it for their retirement and benefits get their noses out of the trough!!!!!

  4. Definitely – its never too late to put a stop to it – what the pollies are entitled to pre and after retirement is absurd – and they want us to all tighten our belts

  5. They are getting plenty of suger in all that highly priced wine and alchohol and extravagant meals tax payers are footing the bill for

  6. If this had been a considerate and honest Government that told the truth, I don’t think so many would be complaining, but you can’t tell the Australian Public that we are in a crisis and services and welfare are going to be cut and then waste money like water and expect to get away with it. It is time for ALL Politicians to act responsibly with our money

    5 REPLY
    • I agree Leanna and Carole, I would rather be a sheep than an ostrich with my head in the sand, like some people.

    • I have left a message on your comment Carole Krake, I have no idea how this women gets away with a her nasty vindictive replies??? She needs pulling into line like so many others that have been and were nowhere near as personal as some of her comnents are!

    • I have blocked her Carole, everytime I make a post she keeps coming back and rambling, you respond to her she rambles more, so I can’t respond to her sorry

    • sorry Carole just got home, Dawn Bruce is a serial pest Carole the only escape from her is to block her..I have blocked her already..

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