Taxpayers are paying Treasurer Joey Hockey $1000 a month to sleep in his wife’s $2 million home in Canberra.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Hockey has clocked up almost $184,000 in travel allowances to stay in Melissa Babbage’s home during parliamentary sittings since 1998.
Under current travel allowance rules, Hockey can claim up to $271 per night to cover the costs of his stay in Canberra which has allowed him to rack up a $12,267 bill for the last 15 years to sleep in his wife’s home.
While Hockey’s use of the travel entitlement is in line with current rules, the use of taxpayers’ money by government officials is now a topic of public scrutiny.
Earlier this year, Prime Minister Tony Abbott came under fire after he was reported to have used a taxpayer-funded RAAF plane to fly to Melbourne where mining millionaire and major Liberal Party donor Paul Marks was celebrating his birthday.
Labor MP Pat Conroy said that Mr Abbott’s flight was an “appalling look” as VIP jets can cost about $4000 an hour to operate and wouldn’t accept “that explanation unless they [Mr Abbott’s office] reveal what work engagements were undertaken in Melbourne”, according to SMH.
In 2011, two of Mr Abbott’s high-profile ministers also claimed thousands of dollars in taxpayer entitlements to attend radio presenter Michael Smith’s wedding.
Whilst state MPs can claim travel and accommodation expenses for official business such as “meetings of a government advisory committee or taskforce”, Attorney-General George Brandis and deputy Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce were both reported to have billed taxpayers up to $3000 for flights, hire cars and incidental expenses.
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