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fiddling away « Previous | |Next »
October 20, 2013

It's been going on for 3 weeks now.

The revelations that MPs, including Abbott, have used their entitlements to pay their way to weddings, for sporting events, large libraries, book tours and multiple copies of Guinness World Records. They say little about their improper conduct and quietly repay the money. That's that.

Moircorruption.jpg Alan Moir

The examples of dodgy expense claims is a case of MP's---mostly Coalition ones-- having their snouts in the public trough. The appearance is one of MP's fiddling the books rather than making honest mistakes. It looks systematic.

At the very minimum there needs to be an inquiry into the entitlements system, or some clarification of the current guidelines. The minimum because the spin has been that it's the rules themselves that are to blame, not the politicians who have abused them. We need to go further than this because millions of dollars in expense claims by federal politicians are shielded from public scrutiny, as both major parties passed a law blocking access to information from both houses of parliament in May this year.

It took just 10 minutes for the Coalition and Labor parties to agree to pass legislation that blocked three crucial government departments – the Department of the House, Department of the Senate and Department of Parliamentary Services – from freedom of information (FoI) laws.

Peter Martin points out that the rules are clear:

Ordinary members of Parliament can claim travel for only four purposes - meetings of their parliamentary party, ''electorate business'', ''parliamentary business'', such as representing Parliament or sitting on committees, and ''official business'', defined as properly constituted meetings of government advisory bodies or functions representing a minister or presiding officer. That's it. Anything else - certainly a wedding, a ski trip or a trip interstate to take possession of a rental property - is off limits.

So what we have here with these expense claims is an example of how power corrupts. The MP's can see nothing with cheating as long as they can get away with it.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:30 PM | | Comments (17)
Comments

Comments

It's a form of corruption

Since we follow the US in most things, we can look forward to worse, not better:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/10/18/new-york-is-drowning-in-bribes-and-corruption/

I don't think I would call it corruption. Dishonesty would be closer. Clearly the present honesty system isn't working and needs more policing. Diary itemised meetings and peoples names when work flights are combined with pleasure. Surely pollies are the same as normal people and when working away are allowed to knock off and go to the footy or similar. These weddings seem a bit dodgy but that doesn't mean they are.

melody
how about moral or ethical blindness instead of dishonesty?

If what is corrupt, ie., the wrong exercise of public duty in a community, depends on what the correct duty is meant to be, then the correct duty in Australian political culture is mentioned in the quote of Peter Martin, in the post. This says:

can claim travel for only four purposes - meetings of their parliamentary party, ''electorate business'', ''parliamentary business'', such as representing Parliament or sitting on committees, and ''official business'', defined as properly constituted meetings of government advisory bodies or functions representing a minister or presiding officer.

If a wedding, a ski trip or a trip interstate to take possession of a rental property - is off limits, then it is the wrong exercise of public duty. It is corrupt.

it is corruption rather than a dishonesty Melody because it is the subordination of the public good to private interest. The MP's are gaining extra income from the public

The market based crowd regard politics itself as corrupt in contrast to the spontaneous equilibrium of the market.

Politics is different from market relations since political relations involve consent as part of the claim for legitimacy. Those who rule expect those whom they rule to comply because they claim a right to rule and the citizen gives consent to this.

These authority -based relationships are very different to the interest maximizing behaviour of the market undertaken to further their own advantage at the expense of others.

"I accept that this is a pretty desperate Prime Minister who has lost control of our borders, who has lost control of our detention centres..."

Yes... I know that it's got nothing to do with the topic at hand. But why... ffs why??? isn't the media slamming this dishonest, slimy, knuckle-dragging clown over the BULLSHIT he spewed month after month!!!!

Oh f@*% it!!! Even with their news blackouts and Orwellian doublespeak it so bloody obvious that the situation at the scred borders has NOT changed one iota.

"We will make a difference from day one..." Well of course the wanker made a difference. A difference in PERCEPTION!!! The "issue" is the same as it ever was. That is it isn't a real "issue" at all!!! Other than a way of scoring easy votes in the marginal seats.

And young Scott Morrison proves that he's even more disgusting than I expected... http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/minister-wants-boat-people-called-illegals-20131019-2vtl0.html

“Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.” ~Voltaire (1694-1778)

The pollies probably only make about $30 an hour based on the huge amount of hours they work. Without incentives like expenses and big super what is the incentive to do the job. We need good people to do the job.
A stop and go person makes $30 ph plus.

"Without incentives like expenses and big super what is the incentive to do the job. We need good people to do the job."

Pay peanuts and you get monkeys. Pay more peanuts and you get bigger monkeys.

Oh wait... melody... are you saying that our elected representatives are in it for the bucks? Is THAT their incentive? Is that what motivates them?

The cartoon tells a half truth at best.
Those imposible weights on the end of rhe bar bell are hollow and filled with hot air.
" What tangled web we weave
when first we practice to deceive".

"The pollies probably only make about $30 an hour based on the huge amount of hours they work."

Hmm, lets get a ballpark guesstimate on that rate per hour.

Lets go overboard and allow an average of:
- a 50 working week year
- a 7 day working week
- a 12 hour working day

Then the pay rate for a back bencher comes out to just under $50 per hour without counting any of the perks.


Mind you I'm not averse to paying pollies a decent salary, particularly when many businessmen [and it is mainly men] get paid millions of dollars per year - the top 100 plus CEOs in Oz get between $5-10 million [excluding perks] each - so if we're looking for fat cats that's the place to focus.

But that does not excuse blatant rorting by Ministers of the Federal government including the PM does it?

Oh and one last thing, pollies aren't the only people to work long hours.
The 35-40 hour working week is a joke.

There are no excuses for the rorting - particularly by the COALition pollies, Abbott Brandis and co., who have crucified their political opponents for less than they have themselves committed.

fred,

your calculations are childish.
Firstly to arrive at "what a person earns per hour" you need to start with the after tax yearly income.

Then times the number of hours worked per week by the number of weeks worked.

Then divide from the net income.


Melody

Admit it, you were 'sprung' badly.
Retire gracefully whilst you can.

Fred,
Good plan.

There is no point arguing over banans with monkeys

Melody... I'm damn sure that Fred is holding all the "banans". Now, if you're real nice, he might give you one...