Taxpayers will spend $13.2 million to make sure politicians don't cheat on their parliamentary expenses

Photo: Sussan Ley MP/ Facebook.

Australian taxpayers will have to pay $13.2 million to make sure politicians don’t cheat on their parliamentary expenses.

The cost works out at nearly $59,000 per politician.

The money will be spent over five years from this financial year to establish an Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA), which was announced by prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in January, following the scandal involving former health minister Sussan Ley.

At the time Turnbull said the group would ensure “taxpayers funds are spent accordingly and within the rules.”

“Australians are entailed to expect that politicians spend taxpayers money carefully,” he said.

“We should be as careful and accountable with taxpayers money as we possibly can be… we are dealing with other people’s money.

“We owe people the greatest transparency and the greatest reliability.”

The authority will administer, audit and report on parliamentarians’ work expenses, and provide advice for politicians on their claims for travel expenses and allowances.

It will be established in two phases — first as an interim executive agency which commenced on 3 April 2017, and then as a statutory authority from 1 July, 2017.

Ongoing existing funding for these functions will be transferred to the IPEA from the Department of Finance.

Ley quit her ministerial role after it was revealed that she bought an $800,000 apartment on the Gold Coast while on a taxpayer-funded trip.

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