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The less they know the better

The Age of Entitlement may be over for pensioners, students, sick people and the unemployed, but it is alive and well for our fearless leader.

Aside from his salary of $507,338 a year, Tony Abbott has claimed $628,736.33 in expenses for the first 6 months of this year.

In April Tony travelled to Japan, the Republic of Korea and China.  The trip, which lasted from April 5 to April 14 cost us $219,857.04 with the following breakdown.

Accommodation and Meals $56,881.13

Additional Equipment Allowance $410.00

Basic Equipment Allowance $450.00

Fares $30,813.70

Ground Transport $16,746.81

Minor Official Expense Advance $504.00

Official Hospitality non Portfolio related $58,803.98

Related Travel Expenses $51,813.18

Travel Advance $3,434.24

Almost $60,000 for non-portfolio related hospitality?  Party time, drinks are on us.

His trip to Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum from January 19 to January 25 cost us $120,309.22 comprised of

Accommodation and Meals $43,694.63

Additional Equipment Allowance $820.00

Basic Equipment Allowance $900.00

Fares $8,109.36

Ground Transport $43,515.63

Medical Costs $230.32

Minor Official Expense Advance $315.00

Related Travel Expenses $20,426.65

Travel Advance $2,297.63

Switzerland is a fairly small country but their “ground transport” must be hellishly expensive at over $7000 a day.

The trip to PNG for a couple of nights in March only cost us $5,549.63 which included $835.15 Medical Costs plus the ubiquitous Basic and Additional Equipment allowances adding to $860.

On the domestic scene, Tony charges us $558 per night travelling allowance every night he is away from home, on average 5-6 nights per month.  No wonder he was so keen to have his photo taken at the cancer clinic before he flew back to Canberra after the private function in Melbourne.

We paid $6,984.86 for the lease and petrol for Tony’s private vehicle on top of the $59,140.27 for Comcars.

It may seem nitpicking to go through the almost $150,000 we spent on office stationery, printing and phones during that six months but the three $15 late payment fees really aggravate me.  Not only is it showing disregard for their creditors and our money, they have thousands of employees but they can’t manage to pay a bill on time?

But don’t get used to having access to this sort of information.

After embarrassing details of Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s lavish trip to London and Rome with his wife were revealed by Fairfax Media in September, the Abbott government decided to refuse to release documents detailing the cost and purpose of overseas travel by Coalition ministers, claiming they could “cause damage to Australia’s international relations” if made public.

Mr Pyne’s trip from April 23 to April 30 to the UK and Italy to “conduct a series of high-level meetings, attend ANZAC Day commemorations and represent the Government at the canonisations of Pope John Paul II and Pope John XXIII” cost us $30,661.76.

Taxpayers were billed $1352 to “day let” a room at a swish London hotel before the minister and his wife, Carolyn, flew back to Australia on the same day. More than $2000 was spent on VIP services at Heathrow Airport for the Pynes.

The documents revealed Mr Pyne had got around guidelines that prevent spouses being funded on overseas trips unless in certain circumstances with a special letter of approval by Mr Abbott’s chief-of-staff, Peta Credlin.

Considering the number of junkets that have been exposed and travel allowances repaid, the decision to not release their claims for travel expenses is perhaps not surprising from this “transparent, accountable, trustworthy, adult” government.

108 comments

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  1. CMMC

    Pyne is MARRIED?

  2. halsaul

    Technically yes, I believe so 🙂

  3. Fiona

    CMMC & halsaul,

    Why is there a rumour that all four kids were conceived in vitro?

  4. June M Bullivant OAM

    Gee no wonder they cannot afford to look after the Australian people.

  5. la_lasciata

    It’s this kind of reportage that will save us come 2016. Keep it up !!!!

  6. artalo

    and just to put it in perspective my student allowance is $210 a week.

  7. abbienoiraude

    My breath kept being drawn in sharply as each number was noted by Kaye Lee.
    I can’t imagine such numbers to be actual money.
    Consider that I get $118 a fortnight as a carer it blows my raging mind that such extravagance can be had for such lying and vicious members of Parliament.
    Trying to subsist on a DSP is difficult and must be done with tight rope precision especially when finding the gap payments for various specialist appointments.
    It is all so unreal…so ‘us and them’….so 19 Century Britain it makes me feel lost in the arrogance of it all.

  8. John Fraser

    <

    @Kaye Lee

    Pieces of information like this are gold for opponents of Abbotts gang.

    Hockey bringing down his MYEFO on Monday means that I and others can put this information into Comments across mainstream media to white ant Hockey.

    Not that he will need it because so much of Australia is against him.

  9. Kaye Lee

    Tony is not alone in this. It seems most politicians will claim whatever they can get away with. The thing that REALLY troubles me is their decision to no longer disclose this information because it could “cause damage to Australia’s international relations” if made public.

    As all of we people who live in the real world know, any claim for expenses must be backed up by receipts. That is not the case for politicians. If they are spending public money then they HAVE to be accountable. This isn’t an “on water operation” or one of George Brandis’ “special operations” – at least I hope not or I could be facing ten years gaol.

  10. mars08

    But…. by golly… those free trade pacts with South Korea and China are going to be simply splendid for the average Australian!!!!

  11. Kaye Lee

    I actually looked at that today mars08. Most of the benefits have a “safeguard trigger” for the other country where, if things are going bad for them, they can renege on the agreement. Also the benefits for us are being phased in over a very long time frame – 15 years or longer. Tony said we aren’t looking at what will happen 16 years down the track but apparently Andrew thinks that is a good deal.

    http://www.theland.com.au/news/agriculture/agribusiness/general-news/farmers-set-for-quick-kafta-gains/2719271.aspx

  12. Trevor Vivian

    Has the political class never not been corrupt? While we all hold the cat’s tail!!! Bring on Federal ICAC and CITIZEN INITIATED REFERENDA. .

  13. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…

    Especially delightful if you want to sponsor some people on 457 visas….

  14. John Fraser

    <

    I know the decision not to disclose Ministers travelling expenses Kaye Lee and thats just a bit more gasoline for the fire.

    North Coast Voices posted Defence Minister Johnston' expense details :

    http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/abbott-government-minister-for-defence.html

    And this roundup of how media is turning against (the lame duck) Prime Minister Abbott :

    http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2014/12/the-media-narrative-concerning-member_10.html

    All very useful for those who attack the Abbott gang through the media.

  15. Keitha Granville

    there is no point spitting about this and assuming it is all going to chnage with the government – they all do it, they all have their snouts firmly in the public trough. Both sides, all levels, and none of them will change it because none of them WANT to change it. Why would they, they get to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives. Meanwhile the rest of us can whistle. The ONLY way this can ever be altered is for enough independents with balls to be voted into the Senate and for them to vote as a BLOCK on a bill to stop all the rorts. But that is NEVER going to happen. So get used to it people, the age of entitlement will NEVER be over for them. It has always been over for us.

  16. Wun Farlung

    “cause damage to Australia’s international relations” how can that happen?
    After Peta let Tony off his leash at G20 I don’t believe things on the international relations scene could be damaged any further.

    CMMC
    A deceptive and overtly gay man like Pyne being married doesn’t suprise me one bit.

  17. David

    what is & what does he do with the basic equipment & the additional equipment each time ?
    Did Kevin & Julia claim those allowances too ?
    On another matter I’m surprised that Canberra airport doesn’t have Customs & Immigration facilities so that those passengers on the United plane had to wait on the tarmac. How do the personal staff & media hangers on for each official Govt overseas trip get their passports stamped to depart & when they return, …… ?

  18. CMMC

    The latest thing, apparently, in China is conspicuous consumption of AU $12 bottles of fresh Australian milk.

    Great Free Trade agreement, we will only be able to afford powdered milk very soon.

  19. Kaye Lee

    Mr Abbott’s statement of ministerial standards says: “Ministers and their staff are provided with resources and facilities at public expense for the effective conduct of public business. Such resources are not to be subject to wasteful or extravagant use, and due economy is to be observed at all times.”

  20. mars08

    “…due economy is to be observed at all times.”

    In the same way that I observe the speed limit signs as they receed rapidly in my rear view mirror…

  21. Kaye Lee

    Speed kills mars08 and I care about you far more than I care about Abbott. SLOW DOWN!

  22. JohnB

    As Crocodile Dundee would say, that’s not extravagance,
    This is extravagance:
    “…The UNHCR is responsible for helping and protecting some 50 million displaced persons around the world, including 11.6 million refugees. It expects to spend about $3.5 billion (US$3.3bn) in 2014…..

    …Compare that with the $3.3 billion Australia spent in 2013-14 on the detention and processing of boat arrivals….[34,000 people] ….

    …And to put these costs into a cultural perspective, stopping the boats costs about as much as funding the ABC, SBS, Arts Council, Australian Institute of Sport and National Parks put together….”
    http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/node/386

  23. Jlang

    Why is there a medical fee in there, what is that about? I cannot believe that accommodation can cost that, they must be staying in presidential suites.

  24. Kaye Lee

    Jlang,

    My injections when travelling overseas didn’t cost me anything (other than my medicare levy). Perhaps Tony overindulged in the “non-portfolio hospitality”? Perhaps he didn’t take out travel insurance like the rest of us must do? Who can say?

  25. Florence nee Fedup

    “Treasurer says next week’s cuts won’t have an impact on the economy and that projected 2018/19 surplus won’t be achieved”

    I wonder how he will achieve this miracle. If no effect on economy, why cut? No hint or evidence bodies are bad, Savings I believe about .04% of expenditure. Pure dogma of no public services.

  26. Michele Armstrong

    I don’t want my taxes to be spent in this way. This is my money, don’t I have a say? These people are spending a lot of mine and others money embarrassing our nation in the International arena. Additionally, one must ask what happened to Australia? I thought we lived in a democracy with freedom of information. Our country is becoming a totalitarian state with Mr Abbott and his brothers in crime, controlling the Ministry of Information. George Orwell would love it.

  27. Barbara Wittmann

    So Michele , you thought you lived in a democracy? while ever LNP is in power the word democracy goes out the door. What has happened to Australia? well lets start with the middle aged people who lived through the Howard years of 22% inflation and ask them WHY did they vote for this slime sludge? Answer Anything is better than Labor. Next NOW that the media has decided to look without the rose coloured glasses on are you going to publicly apologise to Julia Gillard for the way you ALL ripped her to pieces including the ABC don’t forget some of us have memories and choose to tell the truth. and you are very wrong in the wording of ” becoming a totalitarian state” it already is one. Did you ALL forget the famous ironing board photo and the demeaning words he spoke did you all forget the clip about him abusing a college girl the slime sludge is a misogynistic piece of shit.

  28. Annie B

    Very informative Kaye Lee …… good piece of writing, except that it made me as mad as hell. …….. Like everyone here, I expect.

    ————-

    Trevor Vivian …………. posted on Dec 13, 2014 at 10:22 pm ………

    ……… ” Bring on Federal ICAC and CITIZEN INITIATED REFERENDA. ……… and I wholeheartedly agree with him.

    There is much to find on the Net about this subject – have read briefy a couple of them –

    Citizen Initiated Referenda is a legitimate option for electors to demand answers from a Government – there is much to the subject.

    Would be interesting to know how to go about such a thing – and then get voters interested enough to do it. …..

    Guess there’s a few here that would be in it – with bells on.

    …………..

  29. Kaye Lee

    Barbara,

    I forget nothing. My relationship with Tony started in 1976 and my head is exploding with the stuff I remember.

  30. stephentardrew

    A stain on the nickers of the nation.

  31. Michael Taylor

    You were in a relationship with Tony Abbott! 😉

  32. stephentardrew

    Damn caught out again.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Annie,

    If you are interested in citizen initiated referenda I suggest you read about Switzerland. Ted Mack’s speech, though 12 pages long, is definitely worth the read. If you want to cut to the chase, go to page 10 to read about how the Swiss government works.

    http://parkesfoundation.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/hporation2013.pdf

  34. Kaye Lee

    Michael,

    I must confess our circles overlapped enough for me to go to his house for a party and for us to often end up at the pub and football games together. Not all relationships are rewarding but they can be informative. I have put a self-imposed limit on discussing those years because I know things that I shouldn’t share.

  35. Michael Taylor

    Kaye, that must still haunt you.

  36. Kaye Lee

    You don’t know the half of it. Luckily we parted company many years ago.

  37. Jlang

    It’s just pure hypocrisy isn’t it. The government cannot afford to provide us with free medical anymore (except for that pesky medicare levy) but we can pay for Tony’s medical expenses while travelling. travel insurance would be standard practice so this seems very strange to me (along with all the other generically titled extra expenses)

  38. Kaye Lee

    I will say, Tony was an arrogant wannabe bully that couldn’t function without an audience. He always had his band of bovver boys supporting him. I considered him an inconsequential pissant at the time. Had I realised the extent of his ambition I would have been more proactive in destroying his political ambitions at the time but I never believed anyone could take him seriously. He was a sexist anachronism in the 70s. Who would have thought that would appeal to voters in the next century?

  39. Kaye Lee

    DanDark,

    There could not be a more apt quote about our boy Tony though I am sure he would be perturbed about not rating an actual mention.

  40. infinityinthepalmofyourhand

    I know everyone loves to whinge about this stuff, so anyway…I currently work as a contractor, which means my employment is uncertain. I get NO PERKS whatsoever, I never even take stationery or pens. Oh, hang on, I have ONE perk, we get instant coffee and tea bags we don’t have to pay for. Whoopee. The last couple of times I’ve done my tax return, the Govt wanted MORE MONEY from me. I work my guts out, and put with crap in the hope that my contract will be extended, and I won’t be out looking for a job again. And these guys get paid more money than I dream of, and then claim thousands, and even hundreds of thousands, in expenses. For attending weddings, for ‘non-portfolio related hospitality’. Excuse me if I feel like the system is screwing me well.

  41. Ralph

    We should be fair here and acknowledge that Switzerland really is a hellishly expensive (overpriced even) country.

  42. Sylvie Veron

    to Kaye Lee

    ” ……I will say, Tony was an arrogant wannabe bully that couldn’t function without an audience. He always had his band of bovver boys supporting him. …………”

    I studied at Sydney Uni during the period Abott was there.I wasn’t interested in student politics but I rember that he was known as young liberal party hack and full of himself. When he run for the SRC he came to the lecture theatre and stood on the lectern and said ” I am Tony Abbott vote for me”. He never said what he stood for or what political party he was aligned with. It was just ” vote for me.”

    Suffice to say that I never voted for him then or any time after he entered federal politics.

    He always came across like an obnoxious little fart. There was some odour around that fellow that put one off..

  43. corvus boreus

    So Tones in Asia, on top of claiming over 6 grand a day for meals and accommodation, was blowing over 6 grand a day on ‘non-portfolio hospitality’. Asia on over 12 grand a day. I would shudder to see his bill if he was being ‘wasteful and extravagant’.
    Tony also forgot to declare the expensive(few grands worth) bike gears Shinzo Abe gave him as a pressie whilst he was over there spending our money and signing us away.

    Citizen Initiated Referendum? ICAC? Hear hear!

  44. John East Gippsland

    We shouldn’t forget good ol’ George Barnarse at the public teat. A $7,000 bookcase that was too big to fit in his office; $13,000 worth of books, magazines and other reading matter; and $15,000 just this February for his wall-to-wall replacement bookcase. $35,000 that I can’t recall any “journalist” ever publicly asking him to substantiate (including at the National Press Club address).

  45. uiwgroup

    I appreciate they all have their snout in the trough and yes they should recoup expenses but a bit of restraint would go a long way. What I get for my expenses pales into insignificant to what thy get.

  46. corvus boreus

    George Brandis also took a notable dip into the public purse when he, in the company of floridly moronic drunk and apologist for domestic terrorism Barnaby Joyce, attempted to slug the taxpayer for thousands in order to attend the wedding of one Michael Smith, a former shock-jock sacked for bigotry.
    Mr Brandis, Attorney General and member of the “Hellfire Club(gentlemen only)” thought this legitimate parliamentary business because he went to listen to hearsay dirt about the HSU, to “collaborate” as he charmingly phrased it.
    If Mr Brandis wants to lounge around in a bow-tie swilling swish plonk whilst listening to an unemployed bigot gossiping about the mischievous tales of a thieving psycho-skank, he should do it at his own expense.

  47. lawrencewinder

    Shuddup, peasants…. get back to pulling your ploughs.

    And stop complaining about the gruel!

  48. s fogarty

    Kevin Rudd spent the same ammount in 3 months. Hypocrisy much…

  49. Michael Taylor

    I don’t remember hearing Kevin Rudd harp on about a budget emergency.

  50. corvus boreus

    s fogarty,
    Were Mr Rudd to post here condemning Mr Abbotts’ profligacy with public funds, that would indeed be hypocritical by definition.
    An accurate account of expenditures claimed, written by an uninvolved party, does not constitute hypocrisy.

  51. Anomander

    @s fogarty. So, just because Rudd also spent money during his Prime Ministership we should not hold Abbott to account? This is always the pathetic excuse, they are all just as bad as each other, or they did it too.

    Where is our right to know where and why OUR money is being spent? Particularly when this government announces every day that “belts must be tightened”, that “services must be cut”, that the “age of entitlement is over”, yet they decide to now hide from any scrutiny simply because they can’t afford any more bad publicity.

    Not good enough – I expect our representatives to adopt the very same standard I apply to myself. To be honest, forthright and transparent in every decision I make. If we don’t have that then we have totalitarian rule.

  52. Geoffrey England

    @s fogerty….get with it

    difference being Rudd never claimed that “the age of entitlement was over”

  53. mars08

    @s fogarty

    Hmmmm… didn’t Kevin Rudd get saddled with the “Kevin 747” tag for his excessive travel expenses???

  54. corvus boreus

    Another frequent dodgy dipper in the trough is the charming Barnaby(‘murdering a public official enforcing standing law is understandable if they happen a greenie’) Joyce.
    As well as the aforementioned shock-jock wedding with ‘hellfire’ George, he also made a $5500 claim for a Malaysian shopping stop-over with the missus(overseas study tour) on the way back from attending the wedding of a Gina Reinhart connection in India. He justified this by submitting a page ripped from the ‘Lonely Planet Guide’.
    Barnaby also expected us to shell $4800 for him to fly to footy games(to redeem his free tickets), which I am sure helped hone his knowledge of political procedures and policy nuances.

    Apparently releasing information on governmental travel claims will damage our nations reputation overseas.
    In other words, ‘if details of our shenanigans get out, we will look like a bunch of stupid crooks’.

  55. Dame Lacey Bra

    We are being led into a two tiered society by a bunch of entitled despots. The age of entitlement is over for some but some are more entitled than others.

  56. Itsazoosue

    Shouldn’t our politicians be accommodated at the Australian embassies overseas?

  57. Penny Moody

    I am so concerned that we are rapidly becoming a police state with a right wing government, raping our natural resources, working on behalf of Corporations and its own wealth. How can we have deposed the Whitlam Government and not the Abbott Government?

  58. Kaye Lee

    Kevin Rudd was indeed a big spender but he did not “refuse to release documents detailing the cost and purpose of overseas travel by Coalition ministers, claiming they could “cause damage to Australia’s international relations” if made public.”

    Politicians entitlements are indeed something that need reviewing. Have these people never heard of teleconferencing? Do they really need to play dress ups and have their photo taken shaking hands?

  59. Möbius Ecko

    s fogarty can you provide the source to Rudd’s spending in that three months please?

  60. Belle

    Clear the decks, sack ’em all and instate a Common Law System…this one hasn’t worked ‘FOR’ Australia, in aeons…it is working ‘ON’ Australia…and we all shudder at the laughingly referred to…’future’….

  61. Florence nee Fedup

    Truth. This government cannot release information about travel and other things, not because it will damage us internationally, but because it will embarrass Abbott government.

    No problem with information being released up to now,

  62. Kaye Lee

    ME,

    FEDERAL MPs have spent millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money on business class airfares, study tours, chauffer driven cars and decking out their offices with the latest and greatest technologies and swank office fitouts.

    Topping the list was former Prime Minster Kevin Rudd who managed to rack up more than $500,000 in less than three months.

    Several Federal MPs enjoyed a host of overseas study tours in the months leading up to last year’s election with destinations including Switzerland, Italy, United States, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Peru and France.

    The Expenditure on Entitlements report revealed Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s expenses included $157,000 in overseas flights, $15,000 on domestic flights, $14,000 on flights for his family and $208,000 in office administration.

    The report, which covers the six-month period from July 1 to December 31 last year, showed Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss charged taxpayers $193, 969 for office administrative costs and $13,459 for travel for his family.

    Health Minister Peter Dutton’s family was afforded $28,584 in taxpayer-funded travel, the largest amount of any Queensland MP or senator behind Kevin Rudd’s family who scored $20,434.

    http://www.northernstar.com.au/news/Kevin-Rudd-tops-spenders-as-MP-expenses-revealed/2322950/

  63. Belle

    Amen Florence, and aren’t our ‘pollies’ getting a wee bit ‘precious’ anyhoo…?? What a load of…’Damage WHAT internationally’?? A miniscule perusal of the …press… in all it’s formats, shows clearly that…sadly, there are precious few governments’ who aren’t doing to ‘their citizenry’, precisely what we see here…it is the silent or not-so-silent ‘grin or grizzle and bear it’ of the citizenry and of the voter that needs a good ‘shake’. Noisy wheels…folks…get more oil than stoic martyrs do. If you ‘put up with this crap’…well….I think I covered it. It’s ‘group think’ which is probably what the ‘G’ in the so called ‘G20’ stood for…originally….these people need ‘labels’ on everything…and I have a few they can use…

  64. A

    It’s a budget emergency…for everyone except for the government and the rich, of course.

  65. corvus boreus

    Kevin 07(he didn’t have a rhyming slogan for ’13)was certainly a high-maintenance, frequent-flying prima-donna. I am glad that he is gone(bar manner and means of replacement) and sorry that he got to take so much with him when he exited the stage.
    His time in governance should not be seen as an aspirational benchmark for accountability or integrity in conduct nor used as the justification for subsequent self-indulgences.

    As another question of “where does the money go”, I wonder which department the ever-expanding retinue of business and media ‘representatives’ that accompany official visits is the responsibility of,
    whether there is any public cost involved or incurred in transporting and accommodating these courtiers, carpet-baggers and junketing hacks, and if so, how much?
    (and …why am I paying?)

  66. Belle

    Forgive my tendency to …er…um…simplify, issues, as I see them…BUT…surely, it is not ‘about’ whether, or not ‘other PM’s’ …’spent like Posh Spice on crack’ too…it is ‘about’ the fact that it is OUR MONEY THEY ARE SPENDING!!

    NO politician, (which is a Public Servant role), is legally PERMITTED to ‘help themselves to the till’. These exorbitant expenses are not a ‘right’ or a ‘given’…and even less so when one considers that these people are WEALTHY in their own right. What arrogance and hubris!

    Not ONE OF THEM should be ‘engaging in this spending spree’ of PUBLIC MONEY when ONE CHILD IS HUNGRY…or ONE FARMER, disenfranchised, ONE FAMILY, struggling, ONE CITIZEN…in difficulties, as all of these, remain vulnerable to the ignominy of this so called ‘system’…a true ‘Sandcastle’ mentality which is more concerned with the veneer…than the FOUNDATIONS!

    Public Servants, NOT Private Masters….’THEY’ are supposed to work FOR YOU. I still can’t understand why Abbott needed a ‘facelift’ to become PM when clearly, it is several centimetres, beneath, his cranium, which could really have used the ‘investment’. ‘Show Ponies’ still become ‘dead horses’ anyhoo and a ‘2 party system’ is a system of NO CHOICE! Bishop? Turnbull? Same/same…

    Change the ‘game’ while you can…this one is rigged. A wise man once wrote, and please forgive my loose, recollection but…’you can judge a society, by how it treats it’s most vulnerable citizens’…I rest my case.

  67. Kaye Lee

    I am assuming the “non-portfolio hospitality” was spent on wining and dining his billionaire entourage.

    “A TRIO of billionaires will travel with the Prime Minister to Asia next week as part of the biggest ever Australian business delegation to the region.

    Businessmen James Packer, Kerry Stokes and Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest will join more than 600 business people on the tour which will include Japan, South Korea and China.

    Business leaders will take part in an “Australia Week in China” event organised by trade minister, Andrew Robb.

    Foreign minister Julie Bishop will also attend while Mr Abbott has given his parliamentary secretary Josh Frydenberg the task of shepherding the travelling party of 20 CEOs, including Westpac boss Gail Kelly, Commonwealth Bank boss Ian Narev, ANZ’s Mike Smith, Orica’s Ian Smith and the Business Council of Australia’s Jennifer Westacott.”

    http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/james-packer-kerry-stokes-and-andrew-forrest-tour-asia-with-tony-abbott/story-fnda1bsz-1226871241366

    From the same article….”Mr Packer’s punt on casinos in Macau is paying dividends.”

    But then we hear….

    TWO casinos partly controlled by billionaire James Packer’s Crown Ltd have been linked to a major bribery and money-laundering case in Macau.

    Macau prosecutors listed Crown Macau and the City of Dreams among at least 10 “suspect projects” involving bribe-taking and money laundering in an indictment against former Macau public works minister Ao Man-long, according to Hong Kong and Chinese media reports.

    In January last year, Ao was jailed for 27 years on 57 counts, including bribe-taking and money laundering.

    The charges centre on 19 land deals, public works projects and private development projects. “Reading from an indictment, Mr Justice Sam said Ao had abused his power to benefit from land sales and bids for public works projects,” the Post said.

    Crown Macau has captured about 12 per cent of Macau’s thriving gaming market while the City of Dreams is a vast gambling, hotel and entertainment resort due to open in coming months.

    The City of Dreams development on Macau’s Cotai Strip has been plagued by controversy. The site was originally given to the Macau University of Science and Technology but later allocated for casino use.

    Construction began before formal rezoning procedures had been completed and two years before it had been officially gazetted, according to Hong Kong reports.

    Both casinos are partly owned by Mr Packer’s Crown in a joint venture with Melco, an entity controlled by Lawrence Ho, the son of Macau gambling doyen Stanley Ho.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/packers-macau-casinos-in-bribes-scandal-20090219-8cqg.html

    And surprise surprise…..

    GAMING titan James Packer secured licensing for his Barangaroo casino by agreeing to have nothing to do with a casino boss with alleged links to organised crime.

    The VIP Gaming Management Agreement — provided to the upper house yesterday after a request from Greens MP John Kaye — includes “prevention of associations with Stanley Ho”.

    Mr Packer is in business with Mr Ho’s son Lawrence in Macau and The Philippines through Melco Crown. Crown has made clear there is no business connection between Lawrence Ho and his father.

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/why-stanley-ho-is-a-no-go-for-james-packer-at-barangaroo/story-fnkltfm0-1227122393410

    And no doubt completely unrelated…..

    The most generous personal donor to a political party last year was Roslyn Packer, the widow of billionaire Kerry Packer, who was once Australia’s richest man.

    Mrs Packer gave the Liberals $580,000 in 2012-13, beating most corporate donations to the party and dwarfing all other personal donors.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/political-donations-roslyn-packer-tops-list-with-massive-gift-to-liberal-party-20140203-31wba.html

  68. mars08

    Florence nee Fedup:

    This government cannot release information about travel and other things, not because it will damage us internationally, but because it will embarrass Abbott government.

    No problem with information being released up to now…

    Maybe it has something to do with the born-to-rule mentality. The well-being and privilege of LNP politicians is intricately tied into the well-being of the nation. THEY are the only ones who have the wisdom to run this country. Do undermine them is to damage the nation.

  69. Terry2

    Hockeynomics –

    Joe Hockey is saying that, without substantial further cuts in government services and agencies (and jobs), he will not be able to follow through with the budgeted cut in company taxes – from 30% to 28.5% – from 1 July 2015.

    Spot the inconsistency in his thinking………

  70. DanDark

    “I raised concerns years ago. I think it is a complete conflict of interest having federal liberal party director (Brian Loughnane) and the chief of staff (who are married).

    “If you have a problem with the PMO it’s difficult to raise it with the federal secretariat. If you have a problem with the secretariat it’s difficult to raise it with the PMO.

    “Almost every bloody headline is coming out of his mouth, whether it’s shirt-front or whatever. “If he thinks so lowly of us that our legitimate concern in the way his office run is trivialised to suggest we are sexist is just mind boggling.’

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/liberal-mp-lodges-formal-complaint-against-pm-over-claims-critics-of-his-office-are-sexists/story-fni0fiyv-1227155449537

  71. Mark Waller

    Cracks me up. this is all on top of the trough that our pollies put their snouts in AFTER they are no longer Prime Minister. The perks that continue for the rest of their life are disgusting. All this highlights that politicians are rarely in positions for the good of the people. Change is coming.

  72. Mike1

    Our Tones doesn’t Fib, He just tells straight out Lies. Weddings, Book publishing, Bike rides, all perfectly legit according to Tones.
    How much has turkey brains ripped us off since being PM ? Kaye Lee has said it all, only 1.5 Years left on his reign, how much will that cost us ? The guy is out of control.

  73. Pingback: The less they know the better | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

  74. Annie B

    @ Belle – ( your comment – December 14, 2014 at 1:01 pm )

    An excellent summary of the entire debacle. Agree with everything you said there.

    —————–

    Meanwhile – to most all other posters – my head is swimming, am developing a headache …. and am sick and extremely tired of this ghastly Government doing whatever the eff it likes, at our expense.

    ……

    Was under the distinct impression that ‘Tones’ ( please … to so many who use that name for ‘him’ – it’s almost offensive as it is cutsie and almost friendly – call him what he is – an a*** hole ) …… he is rapidly approaching, if not has passed – Rudd’s disappearances overseas at tax payers expense. Sure . K Rudd did a heap of travelling, but if you add up Shabbott and his deputy Julie Bitch-ops’ fortnightly forays into the wider world …… they’d be damn near close to a record for expenses incurred. …… for WHAT ? .. More international kudos – which no international country swallows whatsoever ?

    ……..

    Take little notice ….. I’m just havin’ a bit of a bitch here !!! .

  75. Annie B

    @Kaye Lee ……. THANK YOU ….. ( your comment – December 14, 2014 at 12:18 am )

    I did skip to page 10, as per your suggestion, but think it should be read in it’s entirety – which I WILL do … when I can.

    Meanwhile, the information about how the Swiss Government works is mind blowing – and eye opening. It could be seen as a precedent set, for many democracies.

    But would it be accepted ( without sneaky side-steps ) by a hungry, elitist, power grabbing, and repulsively totalitarian Government like our own ( at present ) …. and how could it be done by US / WE …. the people. ?

    I did come across Harry Evans previously ( who is mentioned in that article ) in my rummaging on the Net for ‘Citizen Initiated Referenda’ …. but did not copy and paste the link ( unfortunately ).

    Would have to go through my massive computer history to find the link …….. but if I can – will post it. …. It was an article by Evans – along similar lines … ….. I should have trusted it.

    Thanks again ……

  76. Kaye Lee

    TREASURER Joe Hockey wined and dined world ­financial leaders at the G20 conference in Washington in April, at a celebration that cost taxpayers $50,000 for the services of celebrity chef Shane Delia.

    A spokesman for Mr Hockey said the $50,000 dinner represented “excellent value for money’’

    Despite declaring “the age of entitlement is over’’ in his Budget speech, Mr Hockey’s own Treasury department paid the TV chef to fly business class and airlift truffles from Australia to Washington DC last month.

    The April 10 invitation-only dinner was attended by about 60 financial ministers and central bank governors.

  77. Pingback: Abbott’s Hidden Economy – The REAL Deficit | SOULILOQUY

  78. Kay Bushnell

    Sad, sick state of affairs!

  79. Belle

    ….okay…we all agree…’they’…who are clearly behaving like the so-called ‘eleet’… are, in fact rotten to the core’…and happy to continue the charade of being the ’51st State of America’….NOW WHAT?? Do we ‘fall back’ to…merely whingeing and whining about it…or resume the ‘remote control’ position of…’Hey…’WHOM is ‘going to do something about it’? I’m afraid it helps….nuffin’!

    As I have said…Ad nauseum…you HAVE power to ‘elect’ (supposedly). In brief, you STILL have a ‘voice’, irrespective of all the deliberately engineered crapola in that so called ‘system’…that his directly DESIGNED to render you helpless…so you also have the power to confront them, what are you waiting for…??? A ‘brass band’?? (It would be cheaper than what we are getting now)

    Come together as TAXPAYERS…it’s a ‘great leveller’…and a COMMON THREAD…without OUR MONEY…they are soon going to be needing to NEGOTIATE. You are PAYING FOR THIS CRAPOLA…time to RE-ASSESS…isn’t it? ‘They’ change rules…ergo…’we’ can too…..after all ‘they’ insist it’s a ‘democracy’…don’t they? IMHO The KEY is in not ‘bitching individually’ but UNITING DESPITE DIFFERENCES…with a COMMON THREAD OF BEING…TOOK/HAD/FLIM-FLAMMED…and then ‘copping it’…’sweet’.

    ‘They’ are secretive …so…don’t go ‘there’…think openly, honestly and demand your rights…whilst they are being incrementally ‘whittled away’ in the background of this political ‘Punch & Julie’ show…to a mere ‘memory of a shadow’ of what your ancestors created to PROTECT you…and yours’.

    Besides, what are you getting for your money…be honest.. Crap, idiots, facelifts, ongoing angst and bloody hairdo’s…we DO NOT NEED PARLIAMENTARY FASHION ICONS….they COST too much…Belle

  80. Wayne Turner

    Peter Slipper would find all these rorts from his ex-mates interesting..

  81. Zathras

    Turnbull and Hockey claim an allowance for living in investment properties owned by their spouse.

    I know of somebody from the Telecom era who was given three years in prison for doing something similar.

    I haven’t forgotten Abbott’s travel claims made in error for his Battlelines promotional book tour or his many “charity” events the taxpayer generously happened to subsidise.

    With so many glass houses and not enough stones it’s a pity this site wasn’t kept up-to-date – http://imputeation.blogspot.com.au/

    It seems we all have rorts but Govenment Ministers have entitlements.

  82. mars08

    Former MP Craig Thomson has been cleared of dozens of fraud charges, but found guilty of theft…

  83. Florence nee Fedup

    Was cleared 49 of 65 charges. What were the theft charges? How about sentence?

  84. Meg

    There is one thing I can’t seem to find on Tony’s expenses list -the cost of his room at the AFP college. If his home base is Sydney, is he entitled to the $500+ per night living away from home allowance? If so, why haven’t his Canberra nights been included? If not, who is paying that bill?

  85. Kaye Lee

    Gillard didn’t cry debt and deficit disaster. She didn’t bring down a budget hitting pensioners and the disabled. She didn’t ask the most vulnerable to tighten their belts. Why do coalition supporters NEVER want to talk about the current government? They are the ones who have said the age of entitlement is over. And you have entirely missed the point. This government has decided to no longer release this information.

  86. mars08

    “Our strong, experienced, united team will deliver a strong and stable government that restores confidence and accountability to you, delivering more for families and a better future for all Australians.

    The Coalition will do the right thing for Australia and deliver a strong, stable, accountable government that puts the national interest first and delivers a better future for all Australians.

    We will restore accountability and improve transparency measures to be more accountable to you.

    We will govern for all Australians, not favour any particular group. We’re all in this together and we’ll encourage all Australians to work together…”

    Well okay then! When do we start???

  87. Belle

    I believe the ‘correct’ date for this to begin is….’half past BS in the land of the never, never’…Reverse or invert all the ‘promises’…(see sales pitch)….and you may, just, have something, that begins to resemble, that elusive quality within thee public funded Ivory Towers. Truth. Remember that stuff??? Have a great day all….Belle.

  88. Frank

    The Abbott mob seem have lived on their wits from the very start of their journey from the UK. Citizenship fiddles, renouncing citizenship to get a $10 pom trip. Rhodes scholarship debacle. The questions of double citizenship at the time of becoming an MP/PM. Add the $60000 free degree fracas. All the lies and attacks on the vulnerable in our community. If all this is true we have a real slippery customer in the lodge

  89. alan golder

    I’m looking forward to him being publicly squashed the way he deserves.
    “Australia is open for business”
    What a joke.
    His poor media hungry daughters, oh how they will suffer.

  90. CMac

    Kaye Lee, you seem to assume I am a coalition supporter, which I am very clearly not. Else I would not have read the article. I am a 100% unaffiliated “swinging” voter. As such, I investigate all of these claims thoroughly before forming an opinion. As an engineer, I also have some eye for detail and believe that the same standards apply to everyone. As such, I used the tools which are available to compare like for like.

    The article doesn’t focus on the budget, or I would have a very different comment. I haven’t missed the point. I have simply given some comparative context.

  91. Kaye Lee

    Fair enough comment CMac.

    I agree that the expense claims from ALL politicians are exorbitant. But you haven’t commented on the decision to no longer release them as they could “cause damage to Australia’s international relations” if made public. .

  92. CMac

    I make no comment on that simply because I am unqualified to know anything about international relations. I stick with areas within my capability.

    Personally, I will be disappointed if these figures are not released as I will not be able to make judgements based on that data.

    However, I am also switched on enough to know that the vast majority of us (me included) do not really understand the correct scope with which to judge the claims, anyway.

  93. Kaye Lee

    Hosting the G20 cost us about $400 million for what? Photo opportunities?

    To accommodate an extra 8 delegates, we paid $36,000 to extend the table they used, which we bought in 2006 for $70,000. We then paid $150,000 to move it and $68,000 for new chairs. We also paid

    $150,000 to supply delegates with digital tablet devices
    $120,000 for “advice” on leasing armoured vehicles
    $127,000 for taxis
    $10 million–plus for hotels in Brisbane
    $34 million for security guards

    Another Canberra company, Swell Design, which describes itself as “passionate, creative types”, has been paid $1 million to create the signage for the G20 meetings during Australia’s presidency.

    Sydney company Tour Hosts was paid $1.3 million for hosting duties.

    Treasury was given $44.5 million over three years as part of Australia’s G20 host year to deliver the policy development, coordination and logistical arrangements for the G20 Finance Ministers’ and Central Bank Governors’ meetings – about the same as we spent on hotels and security guards.

    And as we all know, it was just a talkfest that Hockey has no intention of honouring. Waste of time and money. Surely our technology would allow the experts to communicate remotely, advise their respective governments who could then take it to their parliaments for debate and actually achieve something.

  94. abbienoiraude

    Trying to find an amount I can relate to in that last post of Kaye’s.
    I guess it would have to be the cost of ‘extending the table’ as that is far more than someone on DSP and carers allowance gets in a year to pay the specialists bills, tests, doctors, electricity, rates, water, food and petrol.
    We would LOVE $36,000 a year to live on. We would be in heaven.

  95. alex

    Basic equipment allowance every three years for ministers and senators and staff by the book. Not every trip overseas. Meant for clothes and luggage.

  96. Pingback: A sense of entitlement | Serf's Up!

  97. sonofbozo

    Remember the old saying: treat the public like mushrooms – “keep em in the dark and feed em bullshit”

  98. Graham Houghton

    What the hell is a ‘related travel expense’ and can I get one for going to work and back each day?

  99. Kaye Lee

    Buying new skis for Peta perhaps?

  100. Annie B

    Back 4 comments ago, this thread temporarily stopped in December 2014. …. 7.5 months ago. …

    Interesting to re-read the article and comments here, considering the (w)itch Bish, has been dethroned – ( and rightly so ).

    Her expenses for flights here and there for quite weird reasons, displays perfectly the grandiose ‘entitlement’ that these wowsers believe to be their right.

    But – nothing much has changed, has it ? …. In fact it has become far worse, with the pee-em’s relentless pursuit of the best of everything – the new fleet of cars ( $550,000 each ), a newer fleet of planes at his and his cohorts disposal, and a whole range of other exhorbitant pricing on many minor items [ e.g. the table extension for G20 ] … the initial COST of all these being, ludicrous. …. Money out of the public purse, and down the drain.

    As for ‘related travel expense’ …. absolutely ANYTHING could be labelled so … and I doubt that receipts would be needed to be shown. … small stuff, like some spiffy new fangled hair shampoo – because the shampoo offered by a 5 star+ hotel is ‘not good enough – and gives me allergies’ …( as only a somewhat strange example !! ).

    This mob ( both sides ) get away with anything they please … in terms of spending money as a perceived entitlement. …. Bishop has thrown herself on the proverbial sword, to protect her beloved colleagues, although I expect that was a furphy, as the writing was on the wall – and it will all come back to bite the whole lot of them in the bum, sooner than later. …. Oh how I / we hope.

    As the pee-em would like us to believe, he is sporting and sports minded – and here are some of his ‘expenses’ claimed, so’s he could swallow oysters, caviar and the best champagne ( and perhaps eat the occasional onion – skin and all ) at ‘events’ …. :

    http://www.news.com.au/national/prime-minister-tony-abbott-claimed-over-10000-for-family-travel-in-2012/story-fncynjr2-1226735051089

    SOME OF TONY ABBOTT’S EXPENSES:

    Derby Day with family travel November 2012 – $2271.61
    AFL Grand Final with family travel September 2012 – $2150.89
    Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge, Coffs Harbour August 2012 – $1002.24
    Hervey Bay surf life saving pier to pub swim April 2012 – $2372.81
    Charter jet to Tamworth Country Music Festival January 2012 – $8800
    Australian Open Men’s tennis final Melbourne January 2012 – $1639.82
    Tour Down Under Adelaide January 2012 – $2174.82
    Pier to Pub swim Lorne January 2012 – $1444.24
    Port Macquarie Ironman November 2011 – $1290.10
    AFL Grand Final with family travel September 2011 – $5663.58 (flight Bris-Syd included in the fare for Melbourne return)
    Melbourne Cup November 2010 – $2154.40

    And these were all BEFORE he became the big-wig, all powerful, fascist ruling leader of us Aussies.

    Doesn’t take much research or ‘googling’ to know what he is doing now – does it ?

    Bah bloody humbug.

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