George Brandis

Ministers and shadow ministers charged taxpayers for flights and accommodation to attend their own party's campaign launches in July's federal election, as MPs racked up millions of dollars in travel expenses during the election campaign.

A Crikey analysis of claims made by all MPs and senators from when the writs were issued on May 9 until the end of June 30 last year found that in total the cost for flights, travel expenses, Comcar and other travel costs during the election total over $2.078 million for the marathon eight-week election campaign. This was of course during the caretaker period -- a time when little to no governing actually goes on and when politicians are fiercely focused on winning their seats back, an activity for which they are not allowed to charge the taxpayer.