Heated exchange on-air over pollie entitlements

Politician entitlements are a hot button issue and almost went nuclear on-air.
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Even the host thinks that it “escalated quickly”.

Talkback radio host Ben Fordham got into a heated on-air exchange with Liberal Senator Ian Macdonald over parliamentary entitlements on Fordham’s 2GB radio program.  The announcement from the Turnbull Government that they will be removing the taxpayer paid business class travel for retired politicians from the entitlement scheme was a big sticking point for Mr Macdonald.

Mr Macdonald, who makes $200,000 a year as a back bencher, came on the radio program to say that he was considering blocking it in parliament.  Mr Macdonald stated on the program about politicians, “Thirty or 40 years ago they entered into an arrangement at a time when the salaries paid to parliamentarians were much less, and less attractive than it is now”.

Mr Fordham struck the first jab when he asked, “Can I put it to you that you are wildly out of touch, senator?” To which Mr Macdonald fired back, “I was a bit reluctant to come onto yours or any other program or talk because they will deliberately misinterpret my position and will create a headline that is completely inaccurate. The same as I might say your introduction just was.”

While Mr Macdonald admitted that it’s not a popular entitlement he insists that it’s only a small handful of politicians that are taking advantage of the scheme and that it only costs taxpayers “less than a couple of million dollars”.  He also insisted that politicians aren’t “paid very well” but that Mr Fordham didn’t want to “hear the truth because it doesn’t suit your lie”.

You can hear a podcast of the interview here.

What do you think of the situation?  Do you think Mr Macdonald has a point or is protecting his own entitlements?

  1. marilyn flynn  

    its true, this bloke is wildly out of touch. Lets hope his constituents don’t vote for him next time, he might get the message then. Idiot!

    • Therese  

      Whilst I was employed I had access to subsidized housing and a company car. When I retired I had to move into my own accommodation and return the car. I worked for the same company for over 30 years. I was a government employee – what is the difference. Take off the rose coloured glasses Mr McDonald. You did not give up a lucrative career in private industry – if you had you would be in it now earning the millions you say you believe you are entitled to. I don’t believe you have made an impression in the many years you have been “serving” the public in the senate. Ian who???

    • Nellie  

      He’s a Senator….most voters vote above the line for their party of choice…. providing the Liberals give him a winnable position on their ticket he will be re elected…It would be better if electors looked into the people they are being asked to elect rather than just take the 5 second option…the lazy option…. It amazes me how people vote against the nation’s interest when these fellows have no hesitation in showing their contempt for the citizens of this country… They are professional rent seekers… They have a sense of entitlement which is unbelievable to ordinary people….I have seen this man on televised parliamentary committee meetings….awful…rude…arrogant…

  2. Lesley Rhoden  

    Oink oink. Time he took his snout out of the trough. I hope this is just the beginning. Polititians apart from retired PMs should not get any benefits once they cease to be in office. In addition they should have to wait until the general retirement age to collect on their superannuation.

  3. John Brants  

    Methinks the “honourable” member be a totally turgid tosser. There was a time when I had some respect for MPS ; a long,long time ago!

  4. Ailsa  

    Nobody else gets benefits once they leave the job. He is very generously paid for very little and should be grateful. I would like to see him try to live on an average salary or the unemployment benefits they are so keen to cut.

  5. Murray Walker  

    A couple oh hundred thousand a year is a pretty good wage plus the perks along the way. No way are the generous entitlements justified once you leave. Get real and make your own arrangements for when you leave or hopefully get kicked out. Greedy.

  6. He makes it quite clear he is there to serve himself and not the people. The Parliamentary Sitting calendar for 2016 shows 43 days listed for the Senate. On that basis he would have claimed $11,739 accommodation costs whether he paid them or not. He has never had to move house and family to meet his “work” requirements like most veterans do often on a 2 year cycle. He will receive a $100,000 gratis payment on retirement to resettle into civilian life. That, to me, is “double dipping”. Veterans have to borrow from their super’ fund to resettle into civilian life after many emotional moves. Having done so they are obliged to continue paying EVEN after they repay the loan. That continues until the day they die. Adding insult to injury the government refuses to return retirement pay to its original level on completion of loan repayment. When did he ever stand up for veterans and fairness? He should be ashamed to even open his mouth about politicians “entitlements”.

  7. Ros Thomas  

    You are an absolute grub McDonald. You wouldn’t know the meaning of hard work. You and the rest of your mates have had your grubby hands in the taxpayers coffers for far too long and it needs to stop period! Time for you to be satisfied with just your salaries and if not you can piss off period. Get a reality check Australia can no longer afford for you and your piggy mates to keep your snouts in the trough.

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