الثلاثاء , يونيو 9 2020

Crowdfunding page mocks MP expenses

Australian father Stephen Callaghan has invited MPs to fund his family holiday to Uluru

Australian father Stephen Callaghan has invited MPs to fund his family holiday to Uluru

An Australian father has poked fun at the country’s political expenses scandal, asking MPs to fund his family’s trip to Uluru.

Stephen Callaghan has created a crowdfunding page calling on MPs to pledge money for the trip.

He said it would cost far less than a similar trip taken by Labor MP Tony Burke’s family at taxpayers’ expense.

Mr Callaghan is one of many Australians who have taken to social media to mock MPs’ travel expenses.

Several senior politicians have been criticised for using public funds for ‘luxury’ travel such as helicopter rides or family holidays.

Former lower house speaker Bronwyn Bishop last week resigned because of public anger about some of her expenses.

Under the banner of parliamentary entitlements, Mr Burke spent A$12,000 ($8855, £5,600) on a trip to the tourist destination in the Northern Territory where he did work related to his then Environment portfolio.

Entitlements

He also claimed four “family traveller” business class airfares for the same trip.

Mr Callaghan, who lives on the New South Wales Central Coast looking after his three children, told the BBC he had to sell a car to fund his family’s holiday.

He said he had no idea parliamentarians were able to claim family travel, sometimes business class, as part of their parliamentary allowances.


Stephen Callaghan hasn’t received any pledges from MPs

“My wife works away from home 40 weeks a year and we don’t get that entitlement,” he said.

“If Australia has a soul it’s Uluru. I want my kids to see it in that age of wonderment.”

His page has so far attracted A$510 but no MPs have donated money.


Australians were quick to mock Bronwyn Bishop’s taxpayer funded expenses

Rules governing Australia’s parliamentary expenses are vague but the public has not reacted well to a series of media stories about how some MPs spend the money.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who himself once repaid A$1000 he had claimed to attend a colleague’s wedding, has committed to a “root and branch” review of entitlements.

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