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Pollie perks to face the chopper under proposed changes

Contributed

PERKS for politicians could be scaled back and their work expenses made more transparent following the release Wednesday of a parliamentary entitlements scheme review.

It made 36 recommendations, which the Turnbull government accepted "in principle", including that "helicopters cannot be chartered over short distances", after the Bronwyn Bishop expenses scandal last year.

It also urged the government to rename the scheme "work expenses", rather than "entitlements", and introduce major changes to increase the public reporting of MP's expenses.

The review, led by Remuneration Tribunal head John Conde, also recommended more transparency and tighter rules around the use of politicians' expenses during election campaigns.

But it stopped short of banning the use of official printing and communications budgets during campaign periods, despite a 2010 review urging such action.

An ARM Newsdesk investigation last year revealed MPs and senators spent $19 million on the entitlement during the past two federal election campaigns.

The review also called for politicians to curb their use of Comcars and use "pooling arrangements for trips" to airports and other destinations to save taxpayer money, and a cut in the number of paid post-retirement trips to Canberra from five a year to three.

Topics:  choppergate editors picks expenses turnbull government


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