‘This is why so many Australians hate so many politicians’

It seems everyday we read or hear in the news about another politician claiming expenses or entitlements. From Bronwyn Bishop’s
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House of Representatives

It seems everyday we read or hear in the news about another politician claiming expenses or entitlements.

From Bronwyn Bishop’s ‘Choppergate’ scandal to Sussan Ley’s Gold Coast apartment scandal, it’s made us all angry at some point in recent years.

And now, there are widespread calls from within the parliament itself to make changes to the expenses claimed by our politicians.

Senator Nick Xenophon has spoken out against the expenses that have everyone so angry.

He’s slammed many of his colleagues, including Peter Dutton, George Brandis, Mitch Fifield and Simon Birmingham who claimed expenses for attending a New Year’s Eve party in 2015 hosted by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

“This is why so many Australians hate so many politicians,” he said on ABC radio.

“They don’t seem to be subject to what is commonly known as the pub test.

“This miserably fails the pub test, in fact, you’d be laughed out of the pub with this sort of claim.

“It may well be within the rules but the rules need to change.”

Read more: Bronwyn Bishop has something to say about Sussan Ley

Since news of Sussan Ley’s travel expenses broke, the age-old argument against politician’s expenses and entitlements has been broken open again – and it could be the very thing that leads to the changes many are asking for.

Xenophon has vowed to introduce a bill and overhaul the politician’s entitlements system.

 

“Having an independent watchdog, giving the public the right to make a formal complaint, having virtually real time disclosure and making sure that politicians pay penalties if they make a wrongful claim, I think are all pretty straightforward, common sense reforms,” he said.

And he’s not the only one.

Green’s leader Senator Richard Di Natale has also come out against the politician’s expenses and entitlements, backing Xenophon’s calls for change.

He believes there will be more scandals like Ley’s unearthed unless there is change.

 

“What we’ve seen with a number of these scandals over many, many years is the need to have a major overhaul of the system,” he told ABC radio.

“The most, I think, effective way of restoring a bit of faith back into the political process is to establish a national anti-corruption watchdog.

“We can spend the next few days talking about Sussan Ley or we can talk about the fact that this is an ongoing, systemic problem that requires long-term change.”

Read more: Health Minister Sussan Ley in property controversy

So, will there actually be any change?

Or are our politicians going to keep talking about the changes, like they have done before?

We’ll have to wait and see if 2017 will lead to the changes many have called for.

What do you think? Do you agree with what Nick Xenophon said?

 

  1. Guy Flavell  

    Heartily agree with Nick X. However, I doubt that he could get the legislation through as both
    the LNP and Labor would not support same. Why would they want to kill this ‘golden goose’
    of Parliamentary perks ? Tony Burke certainly wouldn’t be voting against change, that’s for sure !!

  2. Kathy L  

    I agree with Nick X. Politicians need to be reminded that they work for the tax payer. It’s important for all to step away from the “golden goose” from the right to entitlements and greed, to doing the right by every day Australians. I get the impressions that politicians are entering politics just for all these unnecessary perks.

  3. Mary Heffernan  

    If the pollies are serious about saving the country money, why don’t they start with themselves, cutting back on their constantly over-inflating salaries, and their lurks and perks? Having recently lost my part Age Pension, as I’m just over the asset cap through a combination of careful saving and downsizing to a small apartment, it gets my dander up to see these “representatives” of ordinary people like me splurging on lavish lifestyles that most of us can only dream of – all at taxpayers’ expense! No wonder a hole has been blown in the National Budget, with this type of “entitlement” going on and on and on ad nauseum. What ever happened to the idea of the “public servant”, who is there to serve the public, and not just to feather their own nests? I admire Pauline Hanson, who catches buses and trains, and travels Economy Class, like us “ordinary” folk.

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Yes totally agree. So sick of their massive salaries. As I have said many times before NO RETIREMENT PENSIONS OR PERKS FOR POLITIANS. ALSO NO PERKS FOR CURRENT POLITIANS AND LET THEM PAY OUT OF THEIR SALARIES AND THEN CLAIM BACK THE TRUE EXPENSES FOR A TRIP WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE BUSINESS CLASS OR FIRST CLASS, ONLY ECONOMY CLASS IF FLYING. NO PRIVATE BUSINESS ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS.

  4. John Sharp  

    Increase their salary and remove all expenditure claims and perks of the job. All travel etc should be funded out of income and claimed back at tax time (if they’re entitled to it.) That’s what I have to do.

  5. Lyn brailey  

    I most definitely agree with nick x.but it needs to go one step further in my opinion and that those caught with their fingers in the pie should be penalised just like us mere mortoals would be if the stole from someone.
    Nick x should also be addressing the continuation of these pollies entitlements once they have done the wrong thing.
    I’m hoping people power via Facebook and other social media outlets causes enough stink to make these overdue and becessary changes.

  6. Guy Flavell  

    Come on Cory Bernadi, this is your best chance to restore the faith of the Australian people by
    you and your LNP back-bench friends soundly supporting Nick X’s new legislation on Parliamentary
    allowances and perks. Your team, the Greens, One Nation, X Party and most of the other independents
    might (?) just be able to swing through this legislation. Champion this Cory and give us some hope
    that this dreadful rorting of taxpayers’ funds by Parliamentarians can be minimized.
    Many people in this country believe you have the capabilities of being a strong PM and a stand like this would do you no harm whatsoever.

  7. patricia dick  

    I think what is amazing is their arrogance in defence! Just so bad.
    Creating a reason for visiting a spot where you have a private event
    is really criminal. Could this sort of fraud become of interest to the Police
    I wonder?

  8. maree  

    Pollies spend 17 weeks in Canberra away from their families, just like in business they get a travel allowance for living away from home (TA) as do their staff. Each month MP’s staff are required to acquit their travel and submit to Dept of Finance after the MP signs off on their travel and expenditure. Every 3 months a report is tabled in the Senate for public scrutiny. MPs hope that nobody delves deeply into this report as it is full of holes, but in times of fractious party machinations, these are brought to the fore. Clever staff are adept at these reports and it is harder for their bosses to be exposed. ‘Stakeholder meeting’ a common term used or’ travel for an event’. So in essence most MPs should be entitled to be paid for time away from home (just like in business) and they do have to pay for accommodation when they are away from home, they should get a meal allowance as do Police or public servants when away from home travelling for work. The issue is not the entitlements, the issue is the abuse and deliberate misuse of the ‘entitlement’. Same goes when they are in their electorates, if you live in Darwin, your electorate is vast, you most likely will have to hire a small plane to get around and you most likely will have to stay over night. Not defending the likes of Ley or Bishop or any who abuse just the facts need also to be stated about the kind of work that gets done by MPs and the time away from home needs be considered.

    • Giddy  

      Yes they are entitled to travel allowances and accommodation costs BUT should not be entitled to $375 per night to stay in a family owned house or unit. They most certainly should not be able to claim payment of ” a family member “when travelling on official business. Holidays should be paid out of their own pocket not the taxpayer money.
      I am going to play the Pensioner card and say that the #375 a night payment is more than I have left over after paying bills etc each pension day. I am so angry at all the ex pollies who are also paid so many dollars when they lose their jobs( voted out). eg Bob Hawke Joe Hockey Paul Keating John Howard etc how nice it would be if when you lost your job you were still paid by your ex employer!!!!!!!! Rant over.

  9. Allan Bailey  

    Put the proposal to referendum. One that has to be honoured by law within twelve months or before the life of the current parliament expires, which ever comes first.

  10. Brian Privett  

    If he goes far enough,see who has the balls to go with him and if he has the balls to keep on with it,I hope I am wrong,but I doubt it

  11. Jackie Childs  

    politicians may not feel they have broken the rules but it show they have no morals, no duty to public and should not be there as a politician if they think so little of the country as a whole

  12. Charlie  

    we need to take the decision out of their hands and demand a result and public input into the solution by Emailing your local member….

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