As well as stopping endemic parliamentary rorting, treating MPs like ADF & APS personnel would make parliament pay appropriate attention to such responsibilities. Particularly concerning the pay and conditions of our defence force which, in stark contrast to the pay and conditions of parliamentarians, are often treated tardily, inadequately or otherwise unfairly by governments of both political persuasions. Not least because ADF personnel are necessarily forbidden by law from collective industrial representation but are - now uniquely in the entire Australian workforce - still subject to strict centralised wage-fixing by the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal which is itself limited to only accepting or rejecting Department of Finance "offers". The DFRT is not allowed to adjust such offers, as Fairwork Australia can, if they need backdating or are manifestly inadequate or otherwise unfair.
Letter to The Australian Financial Review
Tuesday, 10 January 2017
(published Wednesday, 11 January 2017
Further defensive bleating by MPs that their rorted travel and accomodation claims “fall within the rules” misses the point that it is the rules that are so wrong.
Not least because they are so nebulous, unenforceable and in stark contrast to the strict rules that taxpayers rightly expect other government employees to abide by.
The answer to MP’s “entitlement culture” and consequent scandals is surely to align all their travel/accommodation standards and allowances only with those applying to our defence force and public service.
As well as reinforcing accountability with the legal teeth and counter-fraud culture applying to the ADF and APS, it would also help force our MPs to more closely monitor defence force conditions of service instead of neglecting or unfairly reducing them.
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