MP expenditure running rampant?

The saga of the former speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s spending habits continues, after it was revealed this week that she spent $50,000 jet-setting around South America earlier this year.

The former speaker was travelling as part of a delegation to Ecuador, Peru and Argentina in January. She was part of a group of four MPs who went over for the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum. Her colleagues travelled together at a total cost of around $72,000. Mrs Bishop travelled alone at a cost totalling over $52,700.

Mrs Bishop, who resigned as speaker in August after pressure over her exorbitant use of taxpayer money to cover her expenses, some necessary, some not so.

Even after the furore over her spending more than $5000 on a helicopter ride from Melbourne to Geelong, Mrs Bishop continued to charter aircraft at a high cost to the taxpayer, as revealed in the latest expenditure report for MPs released this week.

The report shows that MPs and senators claimed almost $50 million in the first six months of 2015. Other startling figures include:

  • Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce claimed $1,073,991.45 in expenses – the highest total for all MPs and senators
  • Mr Joyce spent more on office fit-outs than the total expenditure claimed by former prime minister Tony Abbott
  • office facilities for MPs cost the taxpayer a total of $15,710,044.19.

Read the Parliamentarians’ Expenditure on Entitlements – Period 1 January to 30 June 2015 report to find out what your local MP spent in the first six months of 2015.

Check your local MP’s spending here.

What do you think of this type of spending? Do you feel it is necessary for MPs to spend so much on office fit-outs and furnishings? Where could the money be better spent? Do you think that former treasurer Joe Hockey’s call to end the age of entitlement has, amongst his colleagues, fallen on deaf ears?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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