In an attempt to address the controversy about Federal MP expenses claims, the Abbott government has introduced new entitlement rules for parliamentarians.
Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson has announced that from 1 January 2014 Federal MPs will only be allowed to make expenses claims on the basis of a genuinely held sense of entitlement.
“As an obvious example, I am a Special Minister,” said Mr Ronaldson. “Because I am special, I can claim reimbursement for any expense I think is warranted. The same would apply for any other MP who genuinely believes they are entitled to claim expenses. This would include members of the Coalition government, who have clearly been given a mandate by the people of Australia to claim expenses.”
Mr Ronaldson said that MPs who did not genuinely believe they were entitled to claim expenses would no longer be able to do so under the new rules. This group included Catholic MPs with guilt complexes (who are not Prime Minister), members of the Labor party and anyone with a conscience.
Mr Ronaldson said that the new rules would clarify the uncertainty under the current rules and would lead to significant financial savings.
“Treasury projections forecast that only Liberal and National MPs will be able to make expenses claims under the new system,” said Mr Ronaldson. “This will lead to substantial savings for the taxpayer and will direct expenses entitlements to those people who have a genuine sense of entitlement to them.”