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Statement on Parliamentarians' expenses

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14 January 2017

Statement on Parliamentarians’ Expenses



Yesterday I announced the biggest reforms to the management of parliamentarians’ expenses in many many years.

I am very pleased that the reforms have been welcomed by the Opposition and right across the Parliament.

It is important that now we work together to demonstrate to the Australian people that we will spend their money with even more care than we would spend our own because it is their money.

We are trustees for the Australian taxpayers’ dollars.

We have to be able to demonstrate transparently, accountably that they are getting good value for it.

We have to be able to show how those expenses, travel expenses and others are being spent in order to enable us to do our important jobs as Ministers, as Senators, as Members of Parliament.

Monthly disclosure of that expenditure will bring a very very significant change in the culture.

These are not entitlements. They are business expenses.

They are no different to the business expenses that people have when they’re travelling on behalf of their employer in the private sector. And they have to be justified.

Putting an independent authority to be the watchdog and the guide and the provider of advice and rulings is going to ensure that Australians understand and can trust that their money is being sent appropriately and as well the parliamentarians can get the advice and the guidance and the clarity that they need to make those decisions.

This is a very important reform. It is the most significant reform to the management of parliamentarians’ expenses in many many years.

I look forward to working with all the members of the House and the Senate to deliver those reforms.

These should belong to every Member and every Senator. We owe that to the people who pay our bills.