The ABC’s Henry Belot and Stephanie Anderson report (9.1.17) on the federal parliamentary system of MPs’ entitlements, in the wake of revelations that Health Minister Sussan Ley engaged in personal travel and business at the taxpayers’ expense.
‘Health Minister Sussan Ley’s decision to step down from cabinet amid an expenses scandal has reignited calls for tougher restrictions on politicians’ entitlements.
‘The Nigerian-born former pilot has faced a public backlash after purchasing a $795,000 luxury apartment while on a taxpayer-funded trip to the Gold Coast.
‘Despite insisting two separate investigations will prove she broke no rules, Ms Ley has admitted she failed the “pub test”.
‘Labor and South Australian senator Nick Xenophon have already called on the Government to introduce changes to entitlements recommended by the Finance Department last year.
‘Ms Ley’s travel arrangements were booked before the sweeping review, which was launched after former speaker Bronwyn Bishop used chartered helicopters to attend party fundraisers.
‘… The review, which was instigated by former prime minister Tony Abbott but has not been acted on, found politicians were “undermining public confidence” and called for travel arrangements to present value for money.
‘Among 36 recommendations, it took issue with family reunion provisions that allow politicians to fly family interstate for holidays while on parliamentary business.’