Sophie Mirabella

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

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Ratbag unions and Labor politician would rather cost jobs than accept pay cuts

There are none so bad as those who are willing to sacrifice all in their pursuit of a flawed and unattainable goal. The unions and the Labor party are rejecting proposals to reduce wages at car plants in Australia in a bid to save jobs, in effect damning those workers to the scrap heap.

Toyota Australia complained about high labour costs and sagging productivity at an emergency summit of car industry leaders with Prime Minister Julia Gillard but was brushed off by union opposition.

The meeting was convened two weeks ago after Ford decided to stop making cars in Australia from 2016, leaving only General Motors Holden and Toyota.

At the Melbourne summit, chaired by Ms Gillard and Industry Minister Greg Combet, Toyota executive David Buttner raised the problem of high wages and poor labour productivity.  Read more »