Immigration minister Peter Dutton is the latest politician to have his travel expenses scrutinised after reports he spent $7000 last year flying his family, business class, to Cairns.
News Corp Australia reports figures disclosed in Department of Finance documents reveal Dutton flew his wife and three children from Brisbane to Cairns last July for a three-day trip — including flights, car hire and accommodation — at a cost of $7210.
A spokesperson for Dutton says he had “numerous” commitments while in Cairns on that trip.
Over the weekend federal treasurer Joe Hockey was caught up in the growing public outrage over MP entitlements after public documents detailed he had spent $14,000 on a trip from Sydney to Perth.
Reports show Hockey travelled interstate with his family during school holidays in April 2013, costing taxpayers $8000 in airfares. Hockey defended the trip, saying he had work meetings scheduled everyday throughout the 2013 election campaign.
Earlier in the week education minister Christopher Pyne faced backlash over $5000 worth of flights from Adelaide to Sydney over the Christmas holiday period.
Senators Eric Abetz and Cory Bernardi are also under the microscope. Fairfax Media reports the pair claimed more than $2000 in travel expenses to attend the 2012 launch of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance in Sydney, a conference opposing wasteful government spending.
Greens Leader Richard Di Natale says there should be a new integrity commissioner assessing parliamentarians’ travel claims.
Politicians return to parliament today for the first time since the entitlements scandal was exposed, resulting in Bronwyn Bishop resigning as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Victorian MP Tony Smith is reportedly the latest frontrunner to vie for Bishops’ job. A decision will be made during Cabinet’s meeting today. You can read more about that here.
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