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?