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Canberra home ownership for visiting members of parliament

By johnboy 20 May 2009 23

With all the world agape as the London Daily Telegraph shreds the entire parliament of Westminster to pieces over MPs rorting expenses local media have apparently been sent out to find similar stories.

It’s not like our parliamentarians are noticeably more moral than their British counterparts is it?

What our local lads and ladies have got going for them is the foresight to get their expenses exempted from Freedom Of Information laws many years ago so it’s much harder for the media or the public to go digging into what they’re after.

Undeterred, News Limited have found a bit of a story to get their teeth stuck into.

It involves MPs buying a house here in Canberra (apparently presuming their tenure in parliament is going to be over many parliamentary terms), staying in it for four or five months a year, and claiming $215 a night in travel allowance for every night they’re staying in their Canberra home.

The MPs involved don’t think there’s anything wrong with this at all. It’ll be interesting to see what more comes to light.

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Canberra home ownership for visiting members of parliament
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AG Canberra 9:01 am 21 May 09

The 200 is for accom only. It is a rort. (meals are extra and transport is via comcar.)

Some use it and stay for 100 bucks a week a crappy little bedsit out the back of Qbn. Others use it to stay at the Hyatt, the Commonwealth Club or the Forrest Motor Inn.

In most cases however the o/n accom allowance is used to purchase a property. Many pollies purchase it as an investment and put a tenant in one of the other rooms full time. That tennant then only has a ‘flatmate’ for 30 weeks of the year – and only then for a few hours each night….

It is a rort – this is an allowance to sleep away from home. Not a cash grant to purchase an asset.

OH and Brendan Nelson ‘shares’ with Joe Hockey – but actually lives in a converted garage at Joe’s place on Furneaux St in Manuka.

bigred 10:29 pm 20 May 09

Just had this horrible thought. Imagine sharing with Joe Hockey? Pizza and beer for dinner each night?

ant 10:19 pm 20 May 09

justbands said :

I thought those days were long over & that you now had to account for money actually spent? I remember about 15 years ago (when I was a public servant) going to Sydney for a course, staying in a pub for about $100 for the entire week & spending my TA on a bass amp.

We used to stay in the Peoples’ Palace, and pocket the significant profit! Having one’s dep’t book accommodation that falls within the allowed cost for one’s level is a much better way, I think.

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