Another government minister caught up in expenses scandal

From Bronwyn Bishop’s Choppergate scandal to Sussan Ley’s “impulse” apartment buy and Julie Bishop’s polo match trip, Australians have been
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. Source: YouTube

From Bronwyn Bishop’s Choppergate scandal to Sussan Ley’s “impulse” apartment buy and Julie Bishop’s polo match trip, Australians have been reacting with frustration to a series of scandals involving MP expenses and entitlements in recent years.

And even after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull intervened this week and announced some changes, stories have continued to emerge about MP expense claims.

The most recent involves Finance Minister Mathias Cormann.

Yes, the minister responsible for making sure the government sticks to its budget!

It’s been revealed that Cormann and his wife billed taxpayers $23,000 for weekend trips to Broome over the past five years.

That included one three-day trip that cost taxpayers $6696, of which flights were $5662.

So, is it within the rules?

Well, it appears so.

MPs are allowed to claim a set number of family trips a year, with family travel entitlements covering family members to travel with MPs on several official or business trips each year.

A spokeswoman for Senator Cormann told the Sydney Morning Herald that all his work expenses were “appropriately declared”

“Senator Cormann’s job as a senator for Western Australia necessarily involves travel across his very large electorate to attend functions and meet with constituents, business and community stakeholders,” the spokeswoman said.

“Inevitably, much of the travel and attendance at functions and events in the electorate, whether in Perth or across regional WA, occurs Fridays to Sundays, when Senator Cormann has returned back to his home state from interstate parliamentary work commitments.”

So, what do you think?

Does this make you frustrated? 




  1. Ross Simon  

    If he went there in the middle of the build-up he should be recompenced.

  2. David Koppman  

    He should payback double and then be sacked and lose hie parliamentary pension

    • Niel  

      They should all be sacked for what they have done . In our terms if we did it we would be sacked then put jail for stealing . The should all lose there Parliamentary Pensions and all the lurks and purkes that go with it .

  3. marijke lopez  

    If I missued money or products from my employer, I would not only lose my job, but I would also be charged…Why is there double standards for Pollies.

  4. Guy Flavell  

    No, Cormann is OK on this one. Almost all of WA is part of his Senate electorate and he was
    actually on Government business on each occasion. The grey area is that he took his wife with him
    and whether he should recompense her part of the expenses ?

  5. Irene Friend  

    It is understood that Mr Cormann should be allowed to claim expenses for his travel and accommodation. However the taxpayer should not have to pay for his family’s accommodation and travel expenses. Mr Cormann receives a good salary and should be responsible for his family’s expenses. Ministers should all be able to afford the costs of families travel and expenses. It is time that ministers entitlements should be brought into line with the rest of Australians who work hard and often travel for their employment. I do not believe there are many companies that fund family holidays. If ministers do not like being away from their families, they should consider seeking alternative employment.

  6. Lyn Dyke  

    An article in the Weekend Australian presented a very fair airing of this subject, as of course they have to get around a lot to cover their electorate, but some of the comments from the pollies seems to indicate a sense of entitlement.

  7. If he is found to have forged any thing for travelling or anything else, he should be made to pay it back and resign.

  8. If he has to go to meeting or socialize on Parliamentary business fine, but I do not see why they taxpayer has to pay for him taking his wife and family along too. in the private sector, if you have to fly somewhere on business, you are not allowed to take your wife with you, not if you are claiming expenses too. He earns enough as it is, so he could quite easily pay for her himself. Just another way to get taxpayers to cough up again. THIS HAS TO STOP.

  9. Sandy Balfour  

    I have travelled with my husband when he went interstate for work BUT we paid for my airfares and meals etc. Also when pollies go to sporting functions etc. I find it wrong they should be talking business as Cormann was as guests of a bank at the AFL Grand Final.
    Just not right – should be done in office hours and with no greased palms.

  10. Phil  

    Should not resign be sacked and prosecuted for fraud as should all whichever party they belong to its theft.

  11. Alex McInnes  

    Pay expenses ( not entitlements ) for legitimate business requirements. Family…uh, uh. No ! He pays that !!

  12. Joe Hockey is the worst. This leaner bills the taxpayer for every expense in his life, including baby sitting his own children. Now, if my company sends me to another city on business, either my partner cares for our kids, or I pay for my own babysitting. Joe Hockey is the “Leaner of the Century” especially with his retirement pension on top of his salary as High Commissioner in Washington. Rorting at it’s lowest by the man who pronounced the “end of the age of entitlement” and claimed new mothers were double dipping (despite their claims being legal.) I really wish I believed in Karma in Joe Hockey’s case.

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