Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Tony 'I live to freeload' Abbott and the public purse


Remember when Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a great show of rejecting an alleged 2.4 per cent increase to his $507,338 per annum parliamentary salary – even though the remuneration tribunal had made it clear he was never getting an increase in 2014 in the first place?

Well, the Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2014/16: Members of Parliament –Travelling Allowance has been published and it seems that from 31 August 2014 he still has a rather generous allowance for those many nights staying in a self-contained flat at the Australian Federal Police training college in Canberra:

Prime Minister shall be provided with accommodation and sustenance up to a limit of $560 for each overnight stay in a place other than an official establishment or the Prime Minister’s home base. Accommodation and sustenance at official establishments shall be provided at government expense…..
In exceptional circumstances, the Commonwealth may pay the accommodation and sustenance costs incurred by the Prime Minister
where those costs exceed $560 where:
(i) those costs are incurred in respect of overnight stays in a place other than an official establishment or the Prime Minister’s home base; and
(ii) the overnight stay is occasioned by official business as the Prime Minister

Abbott already takes full advantage of his prime ministerial travel allowance:
Snapshot from The Canberra Times 27 August 2014

UPDATE

Unfortunately for Abbott, his pork pies to his senators have also come back to haunt him as those leaks to the media continue.

The Sydney Morning Herald 28 August 2014:

Tony Abbott broke with tradition and skipped an annual black tie dinner held for government senators when he attended a party fund-raiser in Melbourne on Monday night….
Almost every government senator attended the dinner at the Boathouse restaurant in Canberra. The leader is always invited and usually attends, Fairfax has been told.
This year Deputy Liberal Leader Julie Bishop and Nationals Leader Warren Truss were the Coalition star attractions.
A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said Mr Abbott "receives a lot of requests to attend functions. Unfortunately, he can't accommodate them all".
The spokeswoman said "none of the dates proposed for the Coalition senators' dinner could be accommodated".
The dinner is always scheduled for the first Monday night of the first sitting week after the winter break.
One source said Mr Abbott's absence from the dinner was partly behind Senator Macdonald's decision to publicly question the Prime Minister's priorities.
They expressed surprise that the Prime Minister would choose to attend a fund-raiser instead of spending time with senators, some of whom have openly opposed the leadership on budget measures, the Racial Discrimination Act and the planned parental leave scheme. 

The Australian 28 August 2014:

LIBERAL and Nationals senators were gathering for their annual black-tie dinner on Monday night when a whisper went around the room that Tony Abbott wouldn’t be coming. As they chattered over drinks at the Boat House restaurant in Canberra, the senators heard the Prime Minister had to skip the event this year to attend to national security matters.
Only the next day did they learn they had been rubbed out of their leader’s diary so he could get to a fundraising dinner in Melbourne the same night….
Whether the grievance is a dinner cancellation, a late arrival or an overnight policy switch on racial discrimination laws, the backbench sees a recurring problem: a lack of respect for party colleagues…..
Tuesday’s meeting heard a rebuke about the “brains trust” in the Prime Minister’s office that keeps springing surprises on the backbench, while several MPs warned about the unpopularity of budget measures including the $7 copayment on GP visits.
Victorian Liberal Russell Broadbent challenged Education Minister Christopher Pyne on the $5 billion cuts to university funding.
NSW Liberal Russell Matheson questioned whether key ­policies were being neglected by merging portfolios such as health and sport and aged care.
Queensland Liberal National Party MP Warren Entsch was sharply critical of the way MPs would first learn of decisions by reading about them in the newspapers.
That point was drummed home when one MP stood to complain about the way Abbott abandoned the amendments to Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act without any consultation with the backbench.
“We may as well not exist, that’s what it comes down to,” said one member of the party room yesterday.
The argument from MPs is that if they are consulted they have some ownership of the outcome. Right now, they feel, they are being denied the opportunity to be even seen to contribute to a decision, let alone get the ear of the leader.
As usual, some of the concerns focus on Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin, who is blamed for the “command and control” style of government.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

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Looks to me like Abbott is in damage control with the Kathy Jackson revelations at the Royal Commission that she has allegedly diddled the Health Services Union of almost $1 million.

Abbott referred to Kathy Jackson as "a lion of the Union movement" and Pyne called her "a revolutionary of the union movement" when she ostensibly became a whistleblower.

Kathy Jackson is .... according to Abbotts gang .... the person who had so much influence on Craig Thomson's theft and fraud charges of monies totalling $28,000.