From January 1, Politicians Will Be Fined And Named In Parliament If They Abuse Their Parliamentary Travel Privileges

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.

Here’s a list of all the MPs’ parliamentary expenses claims under scrutiny so far.

Read more here.

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