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Rudd call for restrains: but adds to housekeeping staff.



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Mon, 18th February 2008 RUDD CALL FOR RESTRAINT - BUT ADDS TO HOUSEKEEPING STAFF

Senator the Hon Michael Ronaldson Shadow Special Minister of State

Senator Michael Ronaldson today expressed outrage at the hypocrisy of the Rudd Government when the true extent of the Prime Minister's indulgence was revealed at Senate Estimates today.

"While Kevin Rudd calls for working families to restrain their spending and keep their wages down he has increased staffing at Kirribilli House and the Lodge," Senator Ronaldson said.

"Mr Rudd's actions show that last week's call for restraint was a hollow, politically-motivated stunt which was totally without substance.

"During the same estimates hearing Senator Evans, representing the Prime Minister, refused to divulge the costs associated with two exclusive dinners held at Kirribilli House.

"The department was able to advise the committee that Ms Rein signed the cheque to pay for the exclusive New Year's eve bash at Kirribilli yet mysteriously were not able to provide advice on the amount paid.

"Working families throughout Australia will be justly infuriated that despite calling for restraint Mr Rudd believes it appropriate to have taxpayers foot the bill for his teenage children's childcare.

"Senator Evans' refusal to directly answer questions about the excesses of the new Rudd Labor Government shows that they are paying lip-service to the claim of transparency and accountability in government," Senator Ronaldson said.