Barnaby Joyce in action
Our new Agriculture Minister, Barnaby Joyce, is refusing to repay expenses of $5,312.57 he clocked up for himself and a member of his family to attend the State of Original II rugby league match in Sydney and two NRL matches when he was in opposition in 2012.
Barnaby could have repaid the disputed amount, like some of his LNP and Labor colleagues chose to do, and the problem would have gone away but he remains defiant, insisting his claims are well within the guidelines. He was on official government business, he said, the NRL wanted to talk to him about several issues, including drugs in sport. Come off it Barnaby, pull the other one.
And the comment you made yesterday won't endear you to your constituents either. "I've got no problems whatsoever if they say from this point forward you won't go to meetings you've been officially invited to because that means I can spend more time at home, which I'm really at ease with" he said.
Last night on ABC's 7.30, Leigh Sales asked Joe Hockey "If I invited you to my wedding, would you think that was a work function?" He replied ".......... if it's part of work, then yes."
MPs shouldn't be out of pocket in the course of their duties but Tony Abbott needs to rip up the guidelines and start again. Taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for MPs who are invited to weddings, football matches, cycling events or Iron Man competitions. They should pay for it themselves.