An online publication today revealed taxpayers are forking out more than $1.1 million a year on Canberra accommodation costs claimed by 62 politicians who already own homes in the nation’s capital, and Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis is wrapped up in the rort.
Thanks to The New Daily report, the outrage on Twitter was palpable, as taxpayers discovered they were footing hotel bill for members of parliament who are on a base salary of $200,000 and well positioned to look after themselves.
From 2016 to 2017, Mrs Sudmalis claimed $16,008 in travel expenses, despite owning a property in the ACT suburb of Narrabundah.
Mrs Sudmalis rents out the property at Narrabundah.
Her series of 58 $276-per-night stays scraped in under the limit set at $285 per night.
The rate is designed to cover the expensive costs of staying in a Canberra hotel.
The figure now exceeds the weekly income received by a jobseeker on Newstart, at $270 a week.
The South Coast Register asked Mrs Sudmalis a number of questions about the rort:
- How is this fair on the taxpayer?
- Is this a reasonable burden on the taxpayer?
- There is plenty of community outrage about this, can you understand why people are frustrated about the money being spent?
- Will you consider moving back to your Narrabundah property once the lease is up?
Her one-line response was indignant.
“Parliamentary Travel Allowance is expended in accordance with the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority,” Mrs Sudmalis said.