Tony Abbott has been using his travel expenses to compete in sporting events. While in Opposition, he was persistent and successful in keeping Labor's indiscretions at the forefront of the daily news, but now we learn that the LNP aren't as squeaky clean as we thought they were. He was very quick to point the finger at others who had rorted their travel expenses and it doesn't matter how many times he says he was entitled to make those claims, it doesn't make it right.
Why should taxpayers pay for Tony Abbott's fitness regime? When he hops on his bike, runs in a marathon or swims in a race, surely they are leisurely pursuits, not political ones. If that's what he chooses to do outside Parliament, that's his business, but let him pay for it himself.
But they're all at it.
Labor's attack dog Mark Dreyfus has been patting himself on the back for exposing Govenor-General George Brandis QC for not paying his own way to a wedding outside Sydney but yesterday he was caught for doing it himself. He decided to pay back $400 he claimed for two nights accommodation in Canberra when he was actually skiing at Perisher. He said it was an "administrative error" as if that makes it okay.
These revelations, although trivial, have left the electorate devastated and angry. To learn that our well paid politicians are so greedy, they would deliberately lie for a few hundred dollars is beyond contempt. We, in our ignorance and naivety, expected better.
Even the most honest man I can think of, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, had to repay money to the Finance Department. He thought it would be cheaper to use self-drive hire cars instead of taxis in Canberra but apparently hire cars are not allowed in that city under the rules.
It's obvious that new rules have to be drawn up to make it crystal clear to everyone, especially staff who are ultimately responsible for the claims, what's justifiable and what isn't. And in my book, weddings and sporting events shouldn't qualify.