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Senate scraps gold pass

Senate scraps gold pass

Former federal politicians will no longer be able to take free flights on the taxpayers’ purse, amid an expenses crackdown voted on by the Senate on Thursday night.

The longer snouts in the trough of plenty will be striking former health minister Sussan Ley off their Christmas list for bringing her foolish travel perks to notice. The government believes this bold move would immediately restore faith in the political class—oh how they dream. If they gave that money back to the pensioners they so eagerly raped on January 1, the very ones who toiled so dutifully all their life to pay errant pollies their lucrative perks, it might help a little—now that is dreaming.

Source: ABC

Senate scraps gold pass, votes to establish authority to oversee ex-politicians’ entitlements

The Upper House also voted to establish an Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority to oversee politicians’ spending.

The measures are the result of a travel expenses scandal that plagued the Government in January and forced Sussan Ley to resign as health minister.

Politicians’ entitlements explained

The Sussan Ley expenses scandal has reignited calls for tougher restrictions on politicians’ entitlements — but what are they?

Special Minister of State Scott Ryan said the changes would restore the public’s confidence in the system.

“Politicians must be accountable for their use of taxpayer dollars,” he told the Senate.

“It is an important step in rebuilding and maintaining public trust in our use of scarce public resources in our job.

“These important and timely reforms will be delivered in the coming months.”

The Parliamentary Expenses Authority will provide “frank advice” to politicians about what claims are legitimate and it will audit their travel expenses.

The Governor-General will appoint members to its board, and it will provide public reports every six months.

The Prime Minister had promised monthly reporting, but that will not be rolled out yet.

Gold passes scrapped despite Macdonald’s opposition

In a separate vote, the Senate scrapped the gold pass that entitled former MPs and senators to 10 free return flights each year.

The move sparked fierce opposition from long-time Coalition senator Ian Macdonald, who accused his colleagues of bowing to populist pressure

“If we’re to follow the populist approach, why bother with these hated, money-grabbing, self-serving politicians at all?” he said.

“Perhaps Hitler and Stalin or Idi Amin had the right idea — don’t bother about a parliament and you don’t have to bother about those pesky parliamentarians at all.”

He said it was unfair to parliamentarians who had served in a time of lower remuneration “in a job where there’s no privacy and no down time”.

“I think history will show this taking away of rights retrospectively was wrong. It shouldn’t be allowed in our society,” he said in the Senate.

“I was never interested in the gold pass personally — my opposition was on behalf of a small group of elderly retired politicians who have no voice in this debate.”

The Senate overruled his objections and voted in favour of abolishing the scheme.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Cliff 17/02/2017, 5:52 am

    Now let’s add ex-Prime Ministers to that removal of the gold pass.

    • Joe Blogs 17/02/2017, 7:29 am

      The ALP gives its ex-PMs a gold tooth as well as a gold pass. When the rodents flash the former they have no need for the latter.

  • Peter Sandery 17/02/2017, 8:05 am

    Some of the septuagenarian senator’s constituents wonder when he will do the right thing by them and become one of the “group of elderly related politicians” he is talking about, thus allowing for generational change not just in their representation but in his Party as well.

  • Penguinte 17/02/2017, 8:25 am

    McDonald said “it was unfair to parliamentarians who had served in a time of lower remuneration “in a job where there’s no privacy and no down time”. Well that’s one benefit right there! At least we won’t be seeing retired pol lies parading around the country and the world on our $$$$! If he thinks it’s so unfair he should consider what the Liberals are doing to pensioners, RETROSPECTIVELY!

    • Albert 17/02/2017, 2:26 pm

      Penguinte, he would consider pensioners. They don’t form part of this thinking and beside, they are a drain on the economy ever since the government nicked off with their pension fund. But, we must remember, politicians are entitled – you just ask them.

      • Albert 17/02/2017, 2:29 pm

        Sorry – “he wouldn’t . . . “

  • Topsy 17/02/2017, 9:12 am

    If the PM stood up and said we will start listening to the concerns of the electorate and stop lying to them, then , just then the electorate might take note. That would then just leave the small matter of trust which politicians, let alone the PM, don’t do much to promote. Sorry PM – too LATE!!

  • Zoltan 17/02/2017, 10:05 am
  • Austin Ayforti 17/02/2017, 11:18 am

    He said it was unfair to parliamentarians who had served in a time of lower remuneration “in a job where there’s no privacy and no down time”. You’re there by choice Sweatheart, no ones forcing you to be a parliamentarian except your own ego driven self.

    • Junior 17/02/2017, 2:11 pm

      Excellent point, AA, I would add in response to- “senator Ian Macdonald, who accused his colleagues of bowing to populist pressure” it is exactly that same populist pressure that put him in that seat.

  • Junior 17/02/2017, 2:04 pm

    You beat me to it Zoltan. It is in between the sitting sessions that they use and abuse their “privileges”. That is why he doesn’t consider it as “down time”.

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