Western Australia

Sep 1, 2017

Money for nothing: WA MPs given an annual $80k unreported, unaudited slush fund

Western Australian MPs are given $78,000 in addition to their salaries to spend as an "electorate allowance". They do not have to report what they spend it on, nor do they have to pay it back if they don't use it all for legitimate purposes. And the honour system works so well for pollies ...

Charlie Lewis — Journalist

Charlie Lewis

Journalist

Canberra journalists devote a quite a bit of time to combing through federal politicians’ disclosure logs, wherein such gems as Sussan Ley’s property-buying trip to the Gold Coast and Julie Bishop’s jaunt to the Portsea Polo can be found. But spare a thought for journos in Western Australia — members of WA Parliament receive almost $80,000 in allowances every year, and they do not have to disclose what they do with that money anywhere.

11 comments

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11 thoughts on “Money for nothing: WA MPs given an annual $80k unreported, unaudited slush fund

  1. Mick Devine

    I wonder how the ATO views this allowance. As it’s not a direct reimbursement of expenses, I would imagine it’s taxable. Are all the MPs declaring it?
    Mick

  2. graybul

    Recently news outlets reported that parliamentarians had taken to using social media (the media they most fear) to “market” their profiles and “good deeds”. Fair enough. But given the WA example of largesse that focusses in no small way upon communication in one form or another . . . WHY . . . . is it politicians of all colours and greed/er need; refuse to engage with the people on sites such as Crikey? No one expects them to enter into slanging matches. But if pollies were fair dinkum in their desire to understand electorates issues/concerns what better point of engagement than social media? The truth (it is always the truth) that gets one . . . the truth is that pollies don’t want to be reminded that before their political career . . . they were people just like us??

    1. Richard

      Ah, but they are NOT like the rest of the herd. They are”special” people who would be able to command such kingly ransoms anywhere else were they not so civic minded as to sacrifice all for the common good of other people (thee and me) and of course, once they have done their time, passed their onerous sentence for our benefits, they are unable to find worthwhile employment for anything more than a crust of stale bread and a pint of sour milk .. except
      1) the door that spins at high rate of RPMs between government and businesses of all kinds and
      2) their astoundingly generous, non contributory, superannuation gold pots that, unlike the common folk such as thee or me, they can access almost immediately … such a life…
      (plus all the other lurks and perks and parasitic prizes awarded to themselves to compensate them for giving up at least 4/8 years of their lives to the onerous task of spending taxpayer funds on their favourite project(s)..)

    2. Jack Robertson

      Graybul, perhaps we could ask our own resident not-like-other-pollies polly why it is that they’re all over social media like a rash now, but never use it properly, as an interactive communications platform rather than just another one-way self-promotion soap-box.

      Senator Hinch, what are your thoughts? You know, on politicians who pretend to be ‘accessible’ by maintaining a social media profile (or having a staffer do it for them), but aren’t at all interested in actual to-fro accessible interaction? We plebs here at Crikey would be interested in getting a conversation on the topic going. Soooo…the thread’s all yours, Senator.

      Senator Hinch?

      Hullo?

      Senator Crikey….?

      *tumbleweeds*

      1. graybul

        Jack . . . I also had in mind ‘light on the hill’ . . . Wayne, er Wayne Swan? If Pollies are of the mind to pontificate on social media (and I applaud their doing so) then surely an occasional interaction would not be beyond the pale??

        1. Jack Robertson

          Yes, I was too Grays!…ah, we put it all out there on the line, cig lighters a-wavin’, fists air-pumpin’, the moshtix a heavin’ thrum of democratic hunger and wannabe engagement…and like Van Morrison at his worst the buggers turn their Rock God backs on us…:-) You know what the Grundle advises his fellow A-Listers , Grays: never read the comments!

          Swanny’s next album? Gunna boycott it! 🙂

  3. Pollietragic

    $78,000.00 per year of taxpayers money, with no transparency – no reporting obligations or accountability / monitoring. What a shocker!!
    Who has allowed this ? Oh, the WA “Members of Parliament Tribunal”. They have created this allowance, and drafted the terms of the allowance so the spend by the MP’s cannot be assessed. This is a rort!
    It’s so easy to spend OPM – other peoples money / taxpayers money. Where are the WA taxpayers protests?

  4. AR

    Charming coincidence that the allowance is similar to the median wage.
    Nice bludge if you can get, and you can get it if you lie.
    Small wonder that pollies rate lowest on the trust index, even below used car vendors.

  5. Richard

    No wonder they bleat pitifully about not getting a “fair share” of the GST pot.
    They clearly have a lot on which to spend that pot.

  6. Richard

    Ah, but they are NOT like the rest of the herd. They are”special” people who would be able to command such kingly ransoms anywhere else were they not so civic minded as to sacrifice all for the common good of other people (thee and me) and of course, once they have done their time, passed their onerous sentence for our benefits, they are unable to find worthwhile employment for anything more than a crust of stale bread and a pint of sour milk .. except
    1) the door that spins at high rate of RPMs between government and businesses of all kinds and
    2) their astoundingly generous, non contributory, superannuation gold pots that, unlike the common folk such as thee or me, they can access almost immediately … such a life…
    (plus all the other lurks and perks and parasitic prizes awarded to themselves to compensate them for giving up at least 4/8 years of their lives to the onerous task of spending taxpayer funds on their favourite project(s)..)

  7. John Hall

    And they want a bigger share of the GST? Secession might be better for the rest of us. It would be interesting to see WA maintaining a Navy, infrastructure & ‘border control’ on their own funds.

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