Crikey readers have their say on MP expense claims and former Bendigo MP Steve Gibbons.
Steve Gibbons’ exit interview
Tamas Calderwood writes: Re. “Steve Gibbons on ‘filthy’ Rudd, the gallery and vintage cars” (yesterday). Steve informs us, “We all know the reasons why we need to move to a price on carbon: that was negotiated with the independents to be in government and that was the first step to move the new system which we’ve done.” I find his explanation a little unclear. My assumption was that “pricing carbon” was ultimately to lower the planet’s temperature, although nowadays even the IPCC admits there hasn’t been any warming for at least 15 years (in a report that Crikey has been curiously silent about). Thus, Steve’s reasoning that it was all to “move to the new system” doesn’t explain why we needed to make that move. Still, he’s right about the electoral effect — oblivion for the Labor/Green/independent coalition.
Les Heimann writes: Crikey; an honest politician — after the event of course!
Jeff Ash writes: If only the candour displayed by Steve Gibbons about Kevin Rudd was on greater display in the parliaments around Australia. At least I would know where I stand.
Weddings, parties, anything for MPs
Robyn Godbehere writes: Re. “Crikey Clarifier: the cost of entitlement for roaming MPs” (yesterday). That’s approximately $428,000 each whether they are in government or not — backbencher or frontbencher, a Minister or otherwise. I think one-day study trips are a rort and should be seen as such. Weddings are also a rort as any minister or senator can go to a wedding, just mention once the political climate and hey presto, they can claim it as a work expense. What also needs investigating is how come these guys are able to repay their expenses but Peter Slipper said he wanted to repay his Cabcharge expenses but was not allowed. Now he is going to court for peanuts and these guys are getting away with it.
Vincent Burke writes: I assume the media are checking funeral attendance lists. Surely one of them would want to run a story about government ministers rorting the system with the headline “four weddings and a funeral”. Wasn’t it Brendan Nelson who joked about politicians benefiting from “Huge Grants”? These reports won’t bring the government to its knees, but it’s nice to see some of the smugness wiped from their faces.