The federal government plans to crack down on politicians who abuse their parliamentary travel privileges by enforcing fines, as well as name and shame tactics.
The new rules comes after a string of senior politicians, including Prime Minister Tony Abbott, have been caught funding personal trips using taxpayer’s money.
Under the new plans, which will start on January 1;
- Parliamentarians will only be travelling if it is in their capacity as an elected representative or as a minister or a shadow minister.
- If a parliamentarian needs to change a travel claim which has been lodged outside the guidelines, they will be forced to pay a 25% penalty on top of the adjustment.
- If more than one incorrect claim is lodged within a financial year politicians and their offices will be required to attend mandatory training.
- Parliamentarians who fail to “substantially comply” within a reasonable time with a request for further information about their claims will be named in parliament by Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson.
Senator Ronaldson told the AAP in a press conference in Melbourne today that he hopes the new guidelines will improve transparency and public respect for the system.
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