Recovery of MPs debts by Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann
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This petition is to call on the Department of Finance to recover funds owed to the Commonwealth of Australia by the 5 disqualified Parliamentarians, in particular Salary, Superannuation and Family travel allowance, as they have the power to issue them a bill for repayment of funds received.
It is also to call on the Federal Government to lobby the Department of Finance to recover these debts and also call on the Federal Government to dismiss any applications for a Government Waiver of the debt and close this loophole for MPs as government waivers are decided on by a colleague/ former colleague and this presents a conflict of interest compared to deciding whether to grant a waiver to an everyday citizen who they have not had prior contact with. And not to allow any individual disqualified from parliament to re-elect for a minimum of 4 years or for life.
Dumped deputy PMs expected return to parliament raises questions about his entitlements (also comments about recovery of pay and perks) http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/the-pulse-live/barnaby-joyce-malcolm-roberts-and-other-mps-receive-citizenship-verdict-from-high-court-20171027-gz9efa.html
As a Nation we need to stand up collectively and set a precedent for current and future MPs that we have the same expectations of them as they have of citizens for non compliance and are accountable as are we.
The five (former) Federal Politicians disqualified for breaching S44 of the constitution received a parliamentary salary, superannuation, a family travel allowance and expenditure allowances.
The Department of Finance handles the payments for Parliamentarians Expenditure and have the powers to issue them a bill for salaries, superannuation, allowances and staff payments. The individual may then apply for a waiver under the Financial Management & Accountability Act 1997 (this is available to all Australians), and the debt can be completely forgiven and can no longer be recovered.
Earlier this year Bob Day applied for a waiver for contravening pecuniary interest elements of the constitution and Minister of State Scott Ryan agreed to the waiver, saying it was consistent with the outcome of previous similar cases, it may be seen as inequitable for Commonwealth to recover the debt, given Mr.Day performed his duties as a senator in good faith. (I'm guessing this is in reference to other MPs who've applied for waiver and would be granted a waiver otherwise they would argue it's inequitable) and this sort of thing needs to stop as financial hardship is not necessarily a position associated with politicians, so I personally see it as any politician applying for a waiver will get it due to past politicians receiving a waiver for something similar - No accountability
Waivers can be granted when the decision maker (Finance Minister or delegate of) considers recovery to be inequitable or cause on-going financial hardship - for more information visit finance.gov.au
Expenditure reports can be found at finance. The gov.au and ipea.gov.au and the following financial information has been sourced from the above websites.
The following amounts are for all five individuals collectively and are total payments made by Dept. of Finance between 1 January, 2012 and 30 June, 2017, I have also stated the average for each individual.. Expenses include : Travel Allowance, Overseas, Domestic, Charter, Car costs, Office Facilities, Office Administration, Telecommunications, Family Travel and Office Fit-outs (which was last reported ending 31 December, 2015)
Travel Allowance = $701,819.00 $140,363.80 Overseas = $199,107.70 $39,821.54 Domestic = $1,172,338.06 $234,467.61 Charter = $788,370.06 $157,674.05 Car Costs = $548,086.16 $109,617.23 Office Facilities = $3,159,288.04 $631,857.61 Office Fitouts = $1,189,761.20 $237,952.24 Office Admin = $1,875,403.37 $375,080.67 Telecommunications = $226,598.51 $45,319.70
Total = $8,860,772.28
Note: 13 August, 2017 a newspaper article revealed taxpayers paid $350,000 to fly empty VIP jets to collect government ministers in 6 month period instead of them traveling on commercial flights and the previous 6 months was at a cast of $600,000. In March 2016 an empty plane flew from Canberra to Melbourne, collecting Barnaby Joyce, costing $4604, then flew him to Tamworth costing an additional $5441, then the plane returned to Canberra adding $4185, totalling $16,030 flying one man home.
Family travel allowance for the five individuals families totals $171,611.81 (I will inform that Scott Ludlam has not reported any expenses for family travel)
Estimated salaries (as published in Sydney Morning Herald) and ministerial bonuses is estimated at $9M ($8,769,609) and is based over 13 years. Calculating Superannuation payments based on 9% of their estimated salaries is as follows
B.Joyce : Salary $2,800,000 Super $252,000 S.Ludlam : Salary $1,800,000 Super $162,000 F.Nash : Salary $2,600,000 Super $234,000 M.Roberts : Salary $266,000 Super $23,940 L.Waters : Salary $1,300,000 Super $117,000 Supperannuation cost = $810,000
Est debt of each individual for salary, superannuation and family travel is:
B. Joyce : $3,160,052.93
S.Ludlam : $1,962,000.00
F.Nash : $2,874,822.12
M.Roberts : $294,616.22
L.Waters : $1,435,060.54
With salaries, superannuation, expenditure/ allowances and the cost of the High Court the estimated total received or spent by the disqualified individuals is an amazing $21,611,993.09, that's an average of $4,322,398.60 per individual. And this has been during the Australian government pushing national debt upwards of $509Billion whilst telling Australians to live within their means.
I would also like to point out that on 23 June 2017 it was reported that politicians received a pay rise on top of a tax cut (they no longer have to pay temporary 2% deficit levy from July) meaning they will be $4000 better off annually (don't recall the low wage earners getting any breaks like this, certainly not $4000 better annually). In the May budget someone earning $50,000 : $250 more tax, $80,000 will pay $400 more income tax, someone earning $1,000,000 a year get a $16,000 tax cut and reforms to superannuation where 800,000 individuals will be worse off and 270,000 transition-to-retirement individuals were given a tax benefit cut. Barely a change to minimum wages and given penalty rate cuts to Australian workers whilst year in year out politicians seem to get a pay rise totalling thousands is a huge discrepancy and further proof of how they view the difference between themselves and us everyday Australians
Welfare debt recovery has been at the forefront of LNP policy and the following stories show their stance and tactics used on debt owed to the Commonwealth even if it's a Department error :
20,000 ppl sent debt notices found to owe less or nothing-https://amp.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/20000-people-sent-centrelink-robodebt-notices-found-to-owe-less-or-nothing-20170912-gyg8mm.html
No time limit on debt recovery - http://guides.dss.gov.au/guide-social-security-law/6/7/3/08
Centrelink debts slashed after welfare recipients speak out on TV - http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-06/centrelink-debts-slashed-after-welfare-recipients-speak-out/8165794
Fact Check: Welfare debts - http://theconversation.com/factcheck-do-welfare-recipients-owe-the-australian-government-about-3-5-billion-61906
Do welfare recipients owe government 3.5 billion - https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2017/august/1501509600/alex-mckinnon/debt-recovery
The five individuals must be held accountable for their non compliance, and all MPs are accountable for decisions they make in such a privileged position. Politicians or not, they too are just Australian citizens like the rest of us, and receive money from a government department as does any citizen on welfare payments, and as such should be as accountable for the debt they have incurred from receiving payments they are not eligible for.
History has shown many Australians have been convicted (sometimes jailed) and ordered to repay the debt, irrelevant of the hardships most on welfare already face, and generally a lot less than the amounts owed by disqualified MPs who received salaries and superannuation when ineligible. Some believe the citizenship saga is the fault of the constitution and the high courts decision, No, this has come about because the individuals involved did not do enough due diligence and were non compliant when ticking the boxes, SIMPLE!
Furthermore, there employment was terminated for breaching the constitution and they now have an opportunity to be re-elected within a couple of months (not sure how many ppl have this opportunity when they are terminated from their employment) and this should not be allowed. The Nationals Party have been asking for donations for Joyce's re-election.
The inequality within this country, particularly from politicians, has seen enough damage to society by intentionally growing the gap between the haves and have nots, this country is about a fair go, and it pains me to see the depths of disparity and cruel treatment by a class of people who truly believe they are above all. Change takes time, let's start by bringing accountability to politicians and bring them closer to earth one step a to a time.
if we don't stand up, the signs are already there that we are going backwards like the early monarchs ruling over what they considered peasants, my children, your children, grand children deserve a better future than that, and we all currently deserve better. Australias constitution was a chosen free will come together as one people through a deep conviction of national unity, and we need to unite to put our government right, make them accountable, and bridge the gap.
I thank you for taking the time to read this petition and if you agree please sign and share this petition with your friends on social media. It's time to bring politicians back to earth and make it clear they are accountable for their actions as any other citizen of Australia and are no different to any other citizen.
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