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Politicians’ expenses: John Howard tops former PMs for biggest spender in 2017 so far

6 October 2017 4:37 AM
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Politicians’ expenses: John Howard tops former PMs for biggest spender in 2017 so far

Mr Howard even outspent Tony Abbott, the only former prime minister who remains a current member of parliament, by more than $10,000.

He charged taxpayers more than $72,400 for flights around Australia, car costs, and for office facilities and administration costs from January 1 to March 31.

Mr Abbott was the next biggest spender at $61,460, followed by Paul Keating at $40,205, Kevin Rudd at $38,915 and Bob Hawke at $38,165.

The former primer ministers’ expenses were revealed today in the first disclosure of the new Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, established in the wake of the travel expenses scandal over summer.

Quarterly reports will now be released on former and current politicians’ spending.

Also read: Jacinda Ardern: Who is New Zealand's next prime minister?

The expenses scandal also prompted the Turnbull Government to abolish the ‘life gold pass’ for travel for all former parliamentarians, excluding former prime ministers and their partners.

Today’s release showed former parliamentarians had billed taxpayers $178,720 for travel in 2016.

They charged taxpayers’ just $7639 this year before the entitlement was abolished.

“Australians are entitled to expect parliamentarians spend taxpayers’ money wisely, appropriately and accountably,” Special Minister of State Scott Ryan said today.

“More reporting means more opportunities for the public to understand how parliamentarians spend money in their offices and for travel purposes.”

Mr Abbott was the biggest spender among the former prime ministers in 2016, charging taxpayers $527,950.

Collectively, the six former prime ministers spent $1,436,460 across the year.

Also read: New Zealand election 2017: Winston Peters to reveal coalition decision

Source: news.com.au

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