By Bob Lee
We must clear the mind of the past and vigorously challenge and debunk this 2016 Report on the Independent Committee’s Review of Politician’s Entitlements. To label this report as mind-numbing, contemptuous, brazen, greedy, a further reiteration of outrageous rorts and rip-offs is an understatement.
In just 6 months (Jan-Jun 2015) MPs and Senators spent $47,655,093.48 on ‘Entitlements’ (work related expenses). Add salary etc., the costs then balloon for each MP or Senator to $654,488.81 or an eye watering $12,586 a week.
It has never been a better time to be a politician!
The time is perfect. An election year.
We have the perfect time and opportunity to force meaningful change to all the politician’s so-called ‘entitlements’ (work expenses).
Demand that this useless self-serving report be heavily amended with meaningful recommendations that will ensure ‘full transparency’ and ‘full accountability’ of all politician’s travel allowances and operating costs which are then published on-line in real time (never less than 7 days in arrears). Entitlement (work expense) reports are more than nine months in arrears – why?
When they have time to lean (political party meetings, etc) they have time to clean (keep records up-to-date and publish on-line).
Change will only occur through tireless efforts of folk like you.
The 2016 Independent Committee Review into Parliamentarian’s Entitlements was anything other than independent.
Start with examining the common links with John Conte, Dr Brendan Nelson, David Tune, Harry Jenkins, Linda Nichols.
John Conte, for example, sits on the Remuneration Tribunal that determines politician’s salaries among other things. A board member of significant corporations (Whitehaven Coal, Ausgrid, BHP Billliton) that are often significant political donors. No apparent conflict?
This 2016 Report Independent Committee Review into Parliamentarian’s Entitlements, grants complete and total control over ‘Entitlements expenditure’ to the very politicians, who because of their rorts, abuse and misuse of taxpayers funds, this committee was tasked to examine and report with practical ethical recommendations.
Strong words. The 2016 Independent Review Committee’s Report of politicians entitlements is totally indefensible.
It not only failed to address the core issues, it further seeks to hide and disguise underlying problems such as Charter Travel abuse while expanding the opportunities for continued future abuse, rorts and unethical practices.
By attempting to justify the continued self-regulation of travel expenses by applying the very questionable ‘principles-based’ methodology (as the means to justify continued unaccountability of politician’s travel abuse and rorts) brings the Review Committee itself into disrepute.
Help us to create some meaningful rules or principles — in the end I don’t care what you call them — but don’t keep hiding these costs to taxpayers under vague definitions that mean zot.
All the words and pages of justification boil down to continuing with a flawed system that is “a principles-based system allowing the parliamentarian flexibility to apply judgment”.
It has consistently been documented for at least the last 15 years, maybe even longer, that this 2016 Independent Review Committee’s Report magniloquent recommendations totally fails to address the core issues:
• transparency • accountability • value •
More from Bob can be read on his site: Pigs Fly Newspaper.