Did anyone else see the irony when the Sydney Morning Herald ran the headline today, titled:
Tony Abbott refuses to bend the rules on MPs’ entitlements
My first impression was, of course Abbott has not bent the rules he decided to flaunt them altogether. Not just bent, but completely broken.
PM Abbott’s reasoning was,
. . . there would ”always be arguments at the margins” and changing the rules would achieve nothing.
Except perhaps rorting at the taxpayer’s expense.
And what does Abbott mean by “at the margins”? Is he inferring that honesty and integrity when it comes to taxpayers dollars aren’t all that important? Sorry Tony, you’re wrong, it’s not at the margins it’s mainstream.
PM Abbott added,
”I’m not proposing to change the system . . . You don’t want members of Parliament to be prisoners of their offices,” he said.
Good God No! We expect them to be off enjoying their hobbies, pedaling their little bicycles, swimming, hanging out in pubs after a city-to-surf type events, attending weddings of sucker-upper-ers or at the pleasure of same. It is not just fair to expect them to sit in their offices and umm . . . work.
But wait, we are not talking about small pocket-money items here, although some in the mainstream would have us think so . . . and I quote again from the article in the SMH:
Mr Abbott has also been criticised for claiming more than $23,000 on trips linked to last year’s Coffs Coast Cycle Challenge, the 2011 Bathurst V8 Supercar race, 2010 Melbourne Cup, 2010 Boxing Day Test match at the MCG, and 2011 Birdsville Races.
Liberal MP Dennis Jensen, added in at least some attempt to be seen to be doing something stated that, the rules were too vague and needed to be clarified. I think not. It isn’t possible to clarify “common sense”.
Abbott has often evoked “the pub test” (work-place reforms will have to pass this test, according to Abbott), this time around he fails on the grounds of integrity.