The questionable claiming of travel expenses by many Australian federal politicians as disclosed over the last few weeks is disheartening. If some of what I have read is true it amounts to theft. I would sack employees for such blatant and systematic misappropriation of money from a business.
What is more disappointing is the double standards being applied. One person’s dishonesty is another person’s oversight. These matters ought to be black and white. The wriggling over the last couple of weeks on some claims and the support from within especially the Coalition parties is shameful.
The only solution is for oversight of politician expenses and salaries to be handed to a commission of everyday Australians outside the control of politicians.
The way the stories are coming out, in a tit for tat game, indicates that each party knows what people on the other side have been up to and that the disclosures are being fed for political purposes.
Shame on the media in Australia for not uncovering this story sooner and for not relentlessly pursuing all politicians with the same vigor. News Corp. stands out for its double standards most recently given their pursuit of Peter Slipper.
The same politicians who are claiming travel expenses to go to weddings, buy a home, attend an AFL game or for other dubious reasons set policies that affect us and our small family businesses. They tell us there are not enough funds to more effectively support small business. They tell us that they have to increase this charge or cut that service because money is tight. Yet they vote themselves pay increases every year and too many of them rort travel and other expenses in acts of utter dishonesty.
What does this have to do with newsagents? We have been let down by politicians for decades. They have fed excuses to us for too long and those representing newsagents have, in the main, accepted the excuses. All the while the politicians have looked after themselves. We have every right to feel let down. They have not served the Australian voters or the national interest ahead of serving themselves.