Parliamentary penalty rates, allowances and rorts

This is Small Business Minister Michael McCormack.

When he doesn’t work on Sunday, he is paid a little bit under $1000 a day. He is also paid that when he doesn’t work on Saturday as well.

This is Ruby, she is a “Girl barista”.

My guess is that, if she’s lucky and gets paid penalty rates when she works on Sunday, she will earn around $40 per hour, $320 for an 8-hr shift.  Under legislation proposed by Small Business Minister Michael McCormack and his government that will be reduced to around $240, if she is lucky. If she doesn’t get penalty rates, she will earn much less than that.

This is Small Business MinisterMichael McCormack.

If he does work on Sunday, he gets paid $274 for going to sleep in his wife’s negatively geared apartment in Canberra. That’s on top of his salary. He claimed $48,256 in Canberra travel allowance between May 2013 and June 2016.

“I get a travel allowance, others get penalty rates – it’s part of the package,” he told his local newspaper, The Daily Advertiser in Wagga Wagga.

He is not alone in getting paid for going to sleep at night.

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Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Social Services Minister Christian Porter and Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion also stay in houses or apartments they own and claimed the allowance. Labor frontbenchers including Mr O’Connor, Richard Marles and Penny Wong also claim the allowance.

The allowance appears to be roughly equal to the cost of spending a night in a rather nice hotel in Canberra. Presumably, it’s meant to be a reimbursement for the expense of actually spending the money to stay in that rather nice hotel.

Somewhere along the line, the reimbursement turned into an entitlement (sorry Joe there’s that word again) regardless of where parliamentarian stayed overnight.

It’s strange, the only person who is not smiling in my blog is Ruby the barista girl.

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