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[Politics] Looks like a Rip-off of Tax-payers money to me.

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Justus, Feb 25, 2007.

  1. Turnbull claiming 'rent'
    By Lincoln Wright

    February 25, 2007 12:00

    AUSTRALIA'S richest politician, Malcolm Turnbull, is using his taxpayer-funded
    travel allowance to pay $175 a night rent for a Canberra townhouse owned by
    his wife.

    Rent claim. Lucy & Malcolm Turnbull

    And under allowances for spouses, he claims another $10 a night payment when wife
    Lucy stays in the $800,000 home, located in the trendy inner Canberra suburb of Griffith,
    just a stone's throw from Parliament House.

    Mr Turnbull, the Environment and Water Resources Minister, is worth at least $125 million,
    according to the BRW Rich List.

    He poured up to $600,000 of his own money into winning the eastern suburbs seat of
    Wentworth at the 2004 poll and the couple also owns a $5.4 million mansion in exclusive
    Point Piper.

    Yet a Finance Department report on travel entitlements reveals Mr Turnbull pays on
    average at least $10,000 a year in rent to his wife using his taxpayer-funded allowance.
    Mrs Turnbull even raised the rent for her husband from $170 to $175 a night in September

    "Mr Turnbull is paid an allowance for nights in Canberra like all members of parliament ...
    and it is set at the same figure regardless of where he stays,'' a spokeswoman for
    Mr Turnbull said.

    But a spokesman for Special Minister of State Gary Nairn said after the 1997 travel rorts a
    ffair, the allowance was reduced so MPs would not use it to pay a mortgage or buy a property.

    "We don't want people ripping off the system and claiming the full travel allowance when
    they are living in their own house - that's why there's a reduced rate which applies to everyone.''

    Mr Turnbull claimed $5640 in the six months between January and June 2006. A part of that
    claim was a $40 bill for four nights when his wife stayed.

    In the six months between July and December 2005, he claimed $7600 for 44 nights. Between
    January and June 2005, his rental bill was $2550 for 15 nights. In November and December
    2004, he claimed $2210.

    At a minimum, Mr Turnbull will claim $12,775 for the 73 official sitting days this year. As a minister
    he would likely visit Canberra more often, and claim more.

    Mr Turnbull owns a flat in Rose Bay and another property at Point Piper through Wilcrow Pty Ltd.
    He also owns properties in the Hunter Valley - at East Rossgole and Scotts Creek.

    Source: Sunday Telegraph
  2. That's it.

    I'm lying on my tax from now on.
  3. Get the same job in Canberra dude. We need an inside man to make
    it easier for no-bodies (me). :grin:

    Just realised thread in wrong forum as well. [​IMG]
  4. As always with parliamentary officials: one rule for them, and another for the rest of us.
  5. I just find it wrong that a man worth 125 friggen milllion dollars is sponging tax payer dollars
    like that.

    They make it Legally right by passing law to justify it, but the law cant make it morally right. :evil:

    Just another of those perks they grant themselves I guess. :roll:
  6. makes you wonder how his wifes home is not counted as "his" house too.
    if he was going for the dole or something they would include her properties in his assets......

    it doesnt appear to be illegal, but certainly immoral. what a wanker.....
  7. Smug MotherF*#kers the lot of them. the political scene, state or federal, is a lesson in the promotion of vested interests. A certain Mr. Gore made the point in the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" that the only things politicians take an interest in the things on the lips of the people in their electorate.
    I guess if you're in a fairly safe seat, it means you have more time to take an interest in looking after yourself.
    Most of us think about ALL the things we could do if we won tatts. How we'd be "set up" for life if we won a million dollars. How the f*#k can you justify having so much money and'rneeding it? the joke of it is that they're actually classified as "public" servants.....


    feel better now.......
  8. Last time I looked, travel allowances weren't means tested. So his net worth is irrelevant. And he is only applying a rule that ALL parliamentarians are entitled to. Yet again this is a media beatup.

    There is a rule and he is sticking to it. He isn't doing anything wrong. Why do you think even Rudd is defending him! It is the rule that is flawed. That is what the media should be focusing on. Not the fact that some bloke worth millions is taking what he is entitled to. They should be flogging the finance minister and/or treasurer about such loopholes and inappropriate use of public funds.

    So while I'm not slamming Turnbull, I am slamming the inappropriateness of the rule. At work(military) we wanted to name an operations room after a bloke who had served for 37 years and is the backbone of our operations division. The engraved plaque was going to cost $140 and obviously was of no financial benefit to anyone. Yet we couldn't get any work fund to pay for it as it was inappropriate use of public funds and non -essential facilities work. So we passed the hat around. Yet this travel allowance rule allows tens of thousands to be landed straight into the pocket of whoever a parliamentarian feels like. That ain't on.
  9. .....Like I said Gegvasco, the promotion of vested interests.......

    The only thing politicians will agree on is how well they look after themselves.
    The fact that it isn't means tested only shows how well they aim to look after themselves.
    The fact that he is so wealthy does make it more offensive. If it was some backwater independant that lived in a fibro house in his electorate I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    Only my opinion though... :)
  10. As has been pointed out gegvasco, its legal because they make the laws
    granting themselves this perk, as with many others they have eg inflated
    superannuationsm free travel etc etc the list is endless

    but, its not morally right, esp when hes on Australias rich list. Just because
    its legal does not make it right.

    Who do you think is paying for all this? we all are. :evil:

    I dont see it as a media beat-up at all. Its factual, & acknowledged as such
    by his own spokesman.

    His wife charging him 'rent' & him claiming this back off us is immoral & a
    ludicrous waste of our tax that we fork out to these mongrels each week.

    As for means tests, isent it logical that these guys make it means test-free,
    but for struggling families & the general community, any government benefits
    is means tested; & you break the rules, you end up with a criminal conviction
    & prison?

    Its no wonder these pricks rate low in the rankings of respected occupations. [​IMG]

    Media beatup? I say No way.
  11. .. and Mr Gore is, of course, a politician.

    Mr Gore's only incovenient truth is that he had a run at getting HIS snout in the biggest trough, and failed miserably. His movie should be re-named "Sour Grapes". :LOL:.
  12. I wonder if She/He will have the audacity to exclude the rent from their taxable income and I suppose she will also be claiming running costs for her/his??? place again as a legitimate tax deduction.

    I also wonder if the GST component is in the rent charged and if she has an ABN and submits BAS statements as reqiured by all "businesses"

    It would be very interesting to see the accountants manipulate this scene and I am sure with his wealth, he has very imaginative people around him.[​IMG]
  13. While the Turnbull arrangement isn't a good look, and Brendan Nelson (the biker's political "ally") is shacked up in Joe Hockey's garage for $175 a night, one thing that is obvious is that they (MPs) are entitled to "living away from home" allowances.

    This is only fair. After all it's only reasonable to expect that we fund our reps' visits to Canberra for when Parliament sits and for those with ministarial portfolios to allow them to conduct the business of government.

    However, how it's administered needs looking at. For example, The cost of the allowance should be UP to a max, say of $175 a night. Not give them the dough and if they camp out by Lake Burley-Griffin then they keep the dough.

    Their electoral assistants should book them into a hotel that's selected from a range of cheap but quality hotels and the bill for the accomodation sent directly to a responsible government dept for payment. I'm sure that the various hotels and services apartments in Can'tberra can come to some arrangement with the government. Same for travel costs. fcuk off this "Gold Card" thing too. Once you've left government, particularly if you LOSE your seat then you should no longer be entitled to any taxpayer funded benefits.

    As for the Hockey/Nelson arrangement I sincerely hope the Hockey is declaring the income on his tax return. Ditto for Turnbull's missus. Of course, there'll be some legal loophole that probably precludes these grubs from paying the tax, anyway. You don't get that rich from paying what the rest of us pay...
  14. Would it not be cheaper to buy/build accomodation for the pollies while staying in Canberra?? A simple 20 bed domitory style thing would do fine. Shared kitchenette and bathroom facilities, hell we'll even supply thongs for the showers...
  15. Just fired this off to the national papers "letters editors"...

    "How's that for hypocrisy? Politicians support the obscene living away from home allowance. For the rest of us, we get Workchoices."
  16. Not if you let the Government run/manage it ;). Good idea though. They should build something equivalent to a University res, and pay the politicians the same as Youth Allowance (since they seem to think that's more than enough for other people to live on) :twisted:.
  17. It is a media beatup because they are focusing on the richest parliamentarian when the issue shouldn't have anything to do with how rich he is. FFS, even Bob Brown has come out in support of him, which proves it has nothing to do with Turnbull and everything to do with excessive parliamentary privileges because every single one of them is supporting Turnbull. The media wants to make people angry about someone so rich getting allowances, when that point is irrelevant.

    It probably wouldn't matter what the allowance was, they would still attack him because he is rich. Them finding out about this situation is just the catalyst for some more sensationalistic media garbage. It seems to have done the job because half of the comments in this thread are about that rich prick wasting our money. And that is what sells newspapers. It is Turnbull's money as well. He pays tax too, and with GST probably a bloody sight more than any of the whingers on here.
  18. I don't give a rats arse if he is rich. average or destitute.

    And I also believe he is entitled to whatever the approved financial arrangements and allowances he is entitled to, and as a Member, is entitled to allowances etc so as not to work in unfavourable conditions.

    All I ask is that I hope that "they" abide by the rules set down for everyone else with regards to declaration of income, GST and business registrations etc etc and it is a fact that, if you can afford creative accountants and investments, you can minimize your tax obligations.

    Good luck to them if they can.