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Tuesday, 4 November 2003
Page: 22038

Mr Martin Ferguson asked the Minister representing the Special Minister of State, upon notice, on 8 September 2003:

(1) In respect of the Ministerial Circular 2003/30 concerning Members' Stationery and Newsletter Printing Entitlement, what was the basis for setting the entitlement at a capped amount of $125,000 and from which date did this capped amount apply.

(2) In reviewing the amount, was a cost analysis undertaken to accommodate, as the memorandum states, “cost increases in printing entitlement since the Government capped the entitlement for the first time in 2001-2002”; if so, by whom.

Mr Abbott (Minister for Health and Ageing) —The Special Minister of State has supplied the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(1) The Senate, on 20 August 2003, disallowed the amendment of the financial limit for the printing entitlement of Members contained in Parliamentary Entitlements Amendments Regulations 2003. The amount of $125,000 set by the Parliamentary Entitlements Amendment Regulations 2001 consequently applied from the date of the Senate's disallowance of the amendment. The basis of the calculation of that amount was provided in answer to part 1 of the honourable Member's question on notice No. 122 of 13 February 2002.

(2) A survey of costs incurred by a sample of Members was carried out by the Department of Finance and Administration.