Bronwyn Bishop
Bronwyn Bishop GREG MILLER

Sorry Joe, but MPs' spending doesn't pass sniff test

JOE Hockey admits Speaker Bronwyn Bishop's decision to spend more than $5,000 on a helicopter trip to a political fundraiser does not pass the "sniff test".

We say, it stinks.

But unfortunately Ms Bishop is not alone in thinking that taxpayers can be taken for a ride when it comes to the expenditure of our money.

READ MORE: Bronwyn Bishop says she will pay back Geelong flight cost

After the travel spending extravagances involving former Speaker and Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper, you would have thought the Abbott government would be far more careful with spending.

But as recent reports have highlighted, they have been anything but.

On the last day of the winter sitting, MPs agreed to changes which will allow them to exceed caps on their office-related entitlements.

Among the changes are  a $10,000 allowance for MPs to buy Australian flags.

A new office budget has also been created. It's about $97,000 for Senators and $270,000 for Members of the House of Representatives.

In the last six months of last year, the Department of Finance spent more than $4.5 million on office fit-outs for MPs and Senators.

Nine MPs had fit-outs worth more than $250,000.

More than $400,000 was spent on a new office for former prime minister Julia Gillard.

Senator Jacqui Lambie's new office cost $357,000.

Mal Brough's office revamp cost $330,000.

MPs and Senators have complained they have little say on the issue.

Sorry, but that doesn't past the sniff test either.

If they don't like the rules, they should change them.

But my guess is most are quite happy to sit in their expensive new offices.

Unlike us taxpayers who continue to see our money wasted on things we can't afford.

So Joe, when exactly is the age of entitlement going to end for you guys?


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