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Federal

Jan 11, 2017

Taxpayers foot $2 million bill for jetsetting pollies during election campaign

Australian taxpayers paid over $2 million for politicians to fly around Australia during the eight-week 2016 federal election campaign.

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.

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8 comments

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8 thoughts on “Taxpayers foot $2 million bill for jetsetting pollies during election campaign

  1. bushby jane

    While new hopefuls have to pay for their own election costs.

  2. Pat Flynn

    Eh, they all do it.
    Not much you can do to stop it.

  3. Des Soares

    Easy. No travel allowance for any pollies once the writs are issued and the election is called. That will make it a level playing field.

  4. Pedantic, Balwyn

    Thank you to the researchers at Crikey for the spread sheet. Even more illuminating is adding in columns for the electorate/state, whether the parliamentarian was standing again and their role in Government. There is an expectation that ministers will travel more, or even that that members in far flung constituencies will clock up more air-miles, but the contrast between the claimed expenses for some unknowns and zero claims by other well known entities raises all sorts of interesting questions about propriety.

  5. AR

    Whatever changes may, one dimly discernible distant day in the future, be made the current risible rules, a simple corrective even for the current abuse is to make all information immediately available – on a Parliamentary site.
    The make it an offence of misleading Parliament not to keep it up to date – a month at most, like a credit card statement.

  6. mary wood

    This really has to stop. It is obscene. I suggest:
    1. Public funding of elections, with TV advertising outlawed.
    2. Once the writs are issued all expenses are paid by parties and/or individual candidates, with an upper limit on spending enforced.
    3. Start referring to politicians expenses as just that – expenses, not entitlements.
    4. Have them pay the bills themselves, and then produce receipts to claim back legitimate expenses, processed by an agency not controlled by government. All such expenses to be made public within one month.
    5. If a business meeting just happens to occur on say Melbourne Cup Day in Melbourne, then the time taken for the meeting is recorded, and if it is say 30 minutes then that proportion of the expense only is refunded – say five per cent.
    6. Politicians need to have their minds forcibly focused on the minutiae that the rest of us have to contend with, which may in turn get them out of the closed and incestuous world of Canberra.
    And that is just for starters.

  7. Graham R

    Thanks for bothering to do this, Josh and Myriam. Nobody else in the media seems to want to, and politicians won’t be expecting you to.
    It is definitely a worthwhile exercise. The contrast with Centrelink recipients is stark.