Should Sussan Ley resign?

Politicians on both sides continue to rack up questionable travel expenses at a time when many people are having to make do with less.

In 2015 Bronwyn Bishop resigned as Speaker after chartering a helicopter to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Last year, Labor senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign from the frontbench after having an education company with links to the Chinese government foot the bill for a travel charge he “didn’t want to pay” after exceeding his parliamentary travel budget.

This week, Health Minister Sussan Ley stood aside from her position as federal Health Minister, pending an investigation into her travel expenses to the Gold Coast where she bought an apartment.

But is this enough? Should Sussan Ley resign as well?

Comments   36 Comments

Seniors who are concerned that Centrelink might raise a small overpayment against them could possibly take the following course of action. Raise a counter claim of underpayment against Centrelink based on inflated Deeming Rates. Photocopy all of your paperwork and send it in. Don't waste time languishing on queues or telephones.

The Government is reluctantly pushed into looking at MP’s expenses while Ministers still say there is nothing wrong with their perks. Age of entitlement lives on.

Meanwhile Centrelink is told to be nicer when harassing its clients about alleged overpayments and is now holding off on debt collectors and court action, for a while. Note Porter’s $300 million is what they have demanded, not received. Meanwhile the media reported today that aged pensioners are the next target of this alleged debt recovery process. COTA is responding. Hope NSA also responds.

Meanwhile the Australian National Audit Office reports over $1 billion spent on offshore detention centre contracts without proper authorisation. On the face of it this lack of accountability is a huge double standard. In any case, not a good look for any Government. BG.

It’s simply a matter of ethical behaviour and our elected representatives doing the right thing by the taxpayer.

Personally I have some sympathy for parliamentarians with their 24/7 agendas. How does one separate their political role from family/personal life activity? My bet is some of the high and mighty do-gooders on this site would have similar difficulty in splitting the same.

The controversy and scandal surrounding the Dastyari standover tactics should signal the end of his political career. He’s been doing his penance for over 5 months now. Like Shorten, I wince every time I hear their whinging voices.

Pollies write on set of rules for themselves and much much tighter ones for the rest of us. If in the military and posted overseas the duration of that posting has to be more than 12 months for the family to accompany you. How come they have numerous 'reunion' visits and tours each year?

Hardly a day goes by without further examples of politicians attending private social functions or taking family holidays at our expense.

Universally, they deny any wrongdoing and attempt to justify their actions. If public servants or private sector employees were caught making similar claims, they would be prosecuted.

While guilty parties mainly appear to be Liberal ministers, it is likely all political parties would have rorters. When a few union officials were caught with their fingers in the till, it justified a Royal Commission. This widespread travel rort is justification, and gifts and political donations should also feature in any RC.

If Peter Slipper was taken to court over $90 in taxi fares, what about the avarice of these ministers who have ripped us off for thousands of dollars? If Sussan Ley and Bronwyn Bishop had to resign or be sacked, why not Julie Bishop, Ciobo, Pyne, Corrmann and the others?

Sussan Ley was right to resign. A hard outcome for a competent Minister and someone I don’t regard as corrupt, but necessary because despite her denials, she was in the wrong. The PM’s review of entitlements, now called work related expenses, needs to ensure our politicians cannot claim for holidays at Uluru or Broome (and that’s what they are) or socialising with stakeholders. Members should have to prove the need for spouse or family travel rather than it being automatic.

Others have suggested MPs expenses be determined on the same basis as the Public Service scheme and that’s a good place to start. Let’s have a more transparent program that reports publicly in a timely manner, including claims that are rejected. Then MPs might just be a bit more cautious about what they claim in the first place. BG.

Anonymous four pointer. Well said.

I am constantly invited to sporting and social events, but Tax Law prohibits claiming these as work related despite the fact they are great networking opportunities. If I cannot claim these costs, why should politicianìs?

Like politicians and FIFO workers, I am away from home for half of the year running offices in two states. My spouse has no legal entitlement to travel at my company expense. I also cannot take my family at company expense to Uluru (Tony Burke) or Surfers (Ley) or Broome (Corrmann). FIFO workers can't claim either.

Travel to sporting functions, social events or holidays are secifically excluded from work related expenses by the Tax Office. So what makes our greedy politicians think that they are special, and deserve special travel expenses denied to other taxpayers?

"Animal Farm" by George Orwell is a perfect description of the hypocracy of Ley, Bishop (both of them), Dastyari, Corrman, Burke and countless others yet to be named.

I am certainly against Dastyari taking Chinese money. He was sacked fron the front bench, and someone with these ethics should not represent anyone in parliament.
But Eureka, what is the difference between Dastyari accepting money from the Chinese government or it's affiliates, and the the WA and fedral Liberals accepting millions from the same people. If Dastyari is sleeping with the enemy, so is the Liberal Party. Shorten is campaigning for these donations to be illegal, so maybe Labor don't get them, but I suspect they do. Eureka would be better served to universally condemn Chinese donations to MPs or political parties. Singly out Dastyari only shows Eureka's political bias, and not distaste for all Chinese political donations.
Governments and businesses donate money to influence decision making, and a full enquiry is overdue.

1. Private donations to political parties = vested interests to be satisfied and protected
2. Personal entertainment and junkets = vested interests to be satisfied and protected
3. Listening to experts and acting = sound policy for Australia and Australians
4. Listening to vested interests. = Biased policy not necessarily in best interest of all citizens

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