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   74 Comments

The issue of swapping one rorter for another has yet to be given serious debate either on this forum or in the media.

What makes the rorts used by Ley to deliberately claim personal holidays as work travel, any different from the dubious luxury overnighters in Melbourne and the family holidays claimed incorrectly by Hunt? Or Pyne, Bishop, Ciobo, Dutton et al?

Both the former and current Health Ministers are equally guilty of fradulently claiming personal activities as work related travel, yet one gets shafted and the other promoted. Both have defrauded taxpayers, yet one is punished, while the other is rewarded.

Why have we not debated this? Why have the media only given Hunt's false claims a passing mention? Why are Hunt and the other travel fraud ministers still Ministers and Ley consigned to the scrapheap? I think I may have the answer. If Turnbull sacked all ministers who cheated on their travel, there would be no one left. Is there any other answer?

Why are we talking about politicians travel expenses? There is only one answer, because they can! The pollie-designed rules designed are deliberately vague enough for them to camouflage personal expenses as work related.
The solution is easy. Either subject politicians to the same rules as Public Servants as some suggested, or adopt the Tax Office definition of work related travel. Either way the grey areas would disappear.
In the new rules there should be provisions for breaches to be prosecuted as fraud by the police. I just bet there would no longer be any travel rorting, as there is nothing more precious to pollies than their job. This also makes travel expenses transparent and independent.
Will this happen? Of course not. I fully expect that the review currently ongoing, will likely legitimise family and other travel in an expansion of the lurks and perks currently enjoyed by our pollies who are already amongst the highest paid in the world.

Channel 7 also Bob B! You're obviously sought out by the media on pension issues. I saw you on SkyNews last year and read an article in a well known magazine as well. At least you're someone that understands the topic.

A disgruntled individual has underhandedly implied the following:

I actively condemn Age Pensioners.
I’m a Public Servant retiree.

Neither is correct but Bob B’s response 23/1/2017 (as usual) is closer to the point.

PS: The Future Fund goes nowhere near covering the Federal Government’s Public Service Superannuation liabilities. Note also, the legislative embargo on any Government accessing the Future Fund expires soon and it too will be ‘raided’ to repay Labor Debt in the same way as the QLD State Labor Government recently drew down on their PS Super reserve to repay debt and mask their poor economic performance.

Some esteemed media columnists suggest there is a pressing need to restore the element of trust between Politicians and the Public.

After reading some of the amateurish and inept opinions below from the impertinent and negative socialist left I suggest there is no chance this will ever happen no matter what revised ‘travel’ process is in place.

The amount of time spent mud raking over every Senior Minister’s private and political agendas years after the event is mind numbing. If this time was focussed on resolving Labor Debt and ongoing legislated Labor yearly deficits, Australia would be in a better financial position today to assist the affordability of its Social Welfare program. Go figure.

Taking Lorikeet’s last post on 23 Jan, about 20 years ago I worked with an APS Section Manager who was sent to a conference in Europe. He asked for rec leave to visit family and offered to pay half the airfare cost and of course his own accommodation while on leave. The Department refused because of a policy of not mixing business with pleasure and noting questions could be asked when expenditure was reviewed by the Senate Estimates Committee. The guidelines were clear and there was no double standard by the Department. Everyone knew the rules, however much we thought the request was reasonable in the circumstances.

It was rejected not because of potential wrongdoing or improper behaviour but because the Department valued a high standard as well as the perception of a high standard.

It seems to me that if the Public Service can have such a clear cut understanding of the rules it should not be all that hard for politicians to have the same understanding. BG.

Exactly my points lorikeet.
Senators' electorates are states, so state wide travel is expected. Ministers and shadows will travel Australia wide to attend to their ministerial responsibilities as approved by their leader. Obviously spouse and family are not elected, and have no entitlement to any travel.
Ministers and Senators should get permission from the parliamentary leader, and if he or she approves travel that is not strictly work related, then their head should roll. And yes I do trust the party leaders to get it right, particularly if the rules are changed to reflect those that apply to public servants. Travel for party political functions should be at their own expense.
Like you, I don't have any objection to pollies or public servants tacking a holiday on the end of a business trip, provided all of that holiday and spouse and family travel is at their own expense. I am sure that this can be done under current PS rules.

I'm sure I made the point about the Age Pension not being considered a welfare payment until at least 2032 some years ago, only now I need to push it up to 2047 (if ever), taking into account people aged 15 in 1992 and Age Pension age being lifted to 70 or perhaps beyond. I do not consider that lower paid workers will ever have enough funds to live on in their old age, especially if no one wants to employ them beyond age 45 or 50, and with bankers who employ low paid workers pushing to be exempted from paying into super for them.

I fail to see why senior public servants travelling overseas with their jobs cannot tack on a holiday at their own expense before returning home.

Highlighting an interesting proposal made by Anonymous:

"3. Domestic travel outside the electorate, and international travel only to be at PMs direction."

Does anyone trust a Prime Minister to do it in the correct way?

If someone sits in the Senate, an entire state is in his/her electorate. This includes some Ministers.

Featured Article