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EYE-BALL’s Guru on – Australia’s Parliamentary Remunerations – Part II – Entitlements and Allowances –

February 20, 2013
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Latest GURU Posts:


– 13th Feb – Australia’s Public Sector Remunerations Part I – Parliamentarians “Base-Salary” and “Additional” entitlements –


– 31st Jan – The Devil is in the Detail, there is none – Gillard chooses shock, awe & Spin over Policy –


– 23rd Jan – The Turmoil is Already here – We just have to accept what is coming –


– 22nd Jan – The Turmoil is beginning – Japan’s Economic Stimulus to tip the scales –


– 20th Jan – Wayne Swan Tips his hat at New Yorker’s


– 10th Jan – The ANZ Whitehaven Hoax –


– 5th Jan 2013 – Financial ‘Ghosts’ from the Past – Hawke and Keating v Gillard and Swan –


– 29th Dec – The Great Big Financial Swindle – Part II – The ‘Budget Surplus’ Backflip – Swan tells his own Porkies …


– 22nd Dec – The Great Big Financial Swindle – Part 1 – The ‘Budget Surplus’ Backflip – Swan serves up Senator Wong


– 14th Dec – The Walls are crumbling – Government admits High A$ policy is hurting –


– 4th Dec – Retailers and bureaucrats don’t understand – high A$ value responsible for off-shore purchases –


– 19th Nov – Government Expenditures Part I – Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet – DPMC – STAFFING –


– 3rd Nov – Shareholders – Holding back the world – scared money – scared boss’s –


To see more GURU posts: – click here …


Title:
– Australia’s Parliamentary Remunerations  –
– Part II – Entitlements and Allowances –
| Author: EYE-BALL Guru | 20th Feb 2013 |
In ‘Part I’ of this – ‘Australian Parliamentary Remunerations’ series, the focused was on the Parliamentary ‘base-salary’ structure – read that post here.

In this ‘Part II’ post – additional Parliamentary allowances and entitlements are the focus.  In addition to their base-salary structures, MP’s and Senators are further guided by a ‘Members Handbook’ that explains all their additional entitlements.

  1. Click here to read full ‘Ministers’ entitlements.
  2. Click here to read full ‘Members’ and ‘Senators’ entitlements.

The Headline Index in the ‘Members and Senators’ Handbook of Allowances and Entitlements is listed below:

Part 2: Salary –

  1. – Salary – [The base-salary has already been covered in Part 1]
  2. – Electoral Allowance – see below … and
  3. – Resettlement Allowance – see below … and
  4. – Superannuation, – [‘Superannuation’ will be covered in ‘Part III’ in more detail.]

Electoral Allowance:

  • All Senators $32,000 per year …
  • Members representing electorates less than 2,000km2 in area $32,000 per year …
  • Members representing electorates between 2,000km2 and 4,999km2 in area $38,000 per year …
  • Members representing electorates greater than or equal to 5,000km2 in area $46,000 …

Handbook Explanation:

Each Senator and Member is paid an electorate allowance for expenses necessarily incurred in the performance of a Senator or Member’s duty. The taxation requirements relating to electorate allowance is a matter between the Australian Taxation Office and the Senator or Member. The Australian Taxation Office has issued a ruling on what may be claimed as an exemption for income tax purposes. … continues …

Resettlement Allowance:

Handbook Explanation:

A Resettlement Allowance is paid, under limited conditions, to certain Senators and Members who retire involuntarily from the Parliament. In order to be eligible for the allowance, a Senator or Member must ‘retire involuntarily’ from the Parliament by:

  1. choosing not to stand for re-election following loss of party endorsement, for reasons other than misconduct; or
  2. being defeated at an election (including an election where the Senator or Member has campaigned to be elected to represent a different electoral division, or to the other House of the Parliament).

The Senator or Member must also have been:

  1. first elected before 9 October 2004, and whose retiring allowance under the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Act 1948 is not payable immediately on retirement because of the deferral provisions of that Act; or
  2. first elected on or after 9 October 2004, and declare in writing to the Clerk of the relevant House of Parliament that it is his or her intention to seek employment on leaving Parliament.
  3. A retiring Senator or Member who meets these conditions will be paid a Resettlement Allowance equal to three months of the base salary at the rate current on the date that the Parliament is prorogued prior to the election.

If a Senator or Member receives a Resettlement Allowance, he or she will also be paid an additional three months of the base salary at the same rate as the Resettlement Allowance if he or she is:

  1. a Senator for a state and has served more than three full years in the Parliament; or
  2. a Member, or a Senator for a territory, and has served more than one full term in the Parliament.

For the purposes of the payment of the additional allowance, the period of service referred to is the period of continuous service that ceases when the Senator or Member retires involuntarily. The Chamber Departments are responsible for paying the Resettlement Allowance to eligible Senators and Members. Any queries relating to the Resettlement Allowance should be referred to the relevant Chamber Department. Contact details are available to Senators, Members and their employees from the Ministerial and Parliamentary Services help desks or on the Senators and Members’ Portal on the Extended Parliamentary Network.


Part 3: Accommodation and Office Facilities –

  1. – Electorate Offices,
  2. – Electorate Office furniture and fittings,
  3. – Electorate Office equipment,
  4. – Electorate Office Information Technology Services and training,
  5. – Telephone services in the Electorate Office,
  6. – Telephone services in Residences,
  7. – Office requisites and stationary,
  8. – Publications,
  9. – Printing and communications,
  10. – Privately Funded Electorate offices,
  11. – Commonwealth Parliament offices,

Again, the Handbook explains the entitlements and guidelines under which expenditures can be made. Handbook Link Here.


Part 4: Travel

  1. – Travel in Australia by Senators and Members,
  2. – Travel on schedules services ,
  3. – Entitlements to travel by car,
  4. – Private plated vehicles,
  5. – Private vehicle allowances,
  6. – Charter entitlements,
  7. – Special purpose aircraft,
  8. – Travelling allowance,
  9. – Family reunion travel within Australia,
  10. – Overseas travel,
  11. – Overseas study travel,
  12. – Overseas delegation travel,
  13. – Travel after retirement,

Again, the Handbook explains the entitlements and guidelines under which expenditures can be made. Handbook Link Here.


Part 5: Staff Matters:

  1. – Electoral employees,
  2. – Salary matters,
  3. – Electorate staff allowance,
  4. – Leave and Public Holidays,
  5. – Other Employment Matters,
  6. – Electorate employee travel,
  7. – Training and Professional development,
  8. – Workplace practices,
  9. – Employment of Trainees in electorate offices,
  10. – Liability for volunteers,
  11. – Cessation of employment,

Again, the Handbook explains the entitlements and guidelines under which expenditures can be made. Handbook Link Here.


Part 6: Other Matters:

  1. – Supplement of capped entitlements in exceptional circumstances,
  2. – Interests and gifts,
  3. – Personal compensation for accidents,
  4. – Authorisation of Powers,
  5. – Badge of Office/Electorate medallion,
  6. – Photographic services,
  7. – Awards and National symbols,
  8. – Constituents’ request program,
  9. – Management of electorate office records.

Again, the Handbook explains the entitlements and guidelines under which expenditures can be made. Handbook Link Here.


To get a grip on the extent of Ministerial and MP’s expenses, the scope, the actual cost, and the reporting procedures, it is best to look at a published report of a six month summarised snapshot of MP, Senator, and Ministerial Expenses. As an example of of MP and Senator expenses for the period – [Jan ’12 – Jun ’12] – can be viewed using this link.

This method of public reporting the Ministerial, MP and Senator expenses has only been in vogue since 2009. In 2008 only Travel expenses claims are available on-line. This Link will take you to the APH Dept Finance website where all the links provided below can be accessed independently.

These links cover six monthly expense claims between Jan 2009, and Jun 2012 by all current and former MP’s and Senators. The report for July – Dec 2012 is not yet available.

  1. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2012 …
  2. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2012 …
  3. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2011 …
  4. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2011 …
  5. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2011 …
  6. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2011 …
  7. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2010 …
  8. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2010 …
  9. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2010 …
  10. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2010 …
  11. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2009 …
  12. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st July – 31st Dec 2009 …
  13. Current MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2009 …
  14. Former MP’s and Senators – 1st Jan – 30th Jun 2009 …

[Further Explanatory Notes on these expenses can be read here …]

Despite exhaustive efforts and requests to have the data contained in the above linked ‘expense’ ledgers to be made available as a ‘database’ file, the Department of Ministerial and Parliamentary Services – [MAPS] – have advised that the data used to compile the  PDF expense files linked above, is extracted from a host of different sources, thus rendering a single file option impossible.

Advice was also given that there is no central registry where all expense claims are processed and accessible as a single database.

Despite the obvious ‘red flag’ indicators a central database would offer to any Audit assessment, it was further explained that the budget for ‘IT’ type upgrades to allow for a centralisation of the MP and Senator expense register to has not been allocated.

This is so hard to accept or believe at face value.  More investigative work is being done – there just has to be a central data base file and if it takes an FOI application to obtain such a file – that endeavour will be pursued.

The mind boggles at a manual type extraction … and if this is how the Dept Finance, MAPS produce the above expense files … no wonder it takes a cast of thousands.   At the moment I have my Local Federal Member looking into a specific request to retrieve this data in a database format.

Just thinking about extracting all the data manually from the above summary links, i.e. 6 fines of 230 MP’s and Senators spread across 12 different categories,  would be a time exposure nightmare.  Yet ‘MAPS’ has confirmed this is how they do the extraction for the above files … unbelievable!!!

The above data in a functioning database file that allowed ‘filters’ and the like to be applied, would produce some very interesting research data.

How does an Audit committee do or perform their task?

The next installment – ‘Part III’ – is on Superannuation, the Future Fund, and whether the whole superannuation is a construct based on a ‘Ponzi Scheme’ with a current $300 odd billion liability on the future generations of Australian’s to fund.

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Have your say where it counts: – contact your Local Federal Representative via the links below and let them know how you feel about this, or any other topic that you feel strongly about – or you can just post a comment below and let off some steam.


The EYE-BALL Guru …

  1. barry
    February 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    And they wonder why I and many others refuse to pay tax……what a joke

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