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
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
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.