Tuesday, July 29, 2014

How we should deal with rorting MPs

Prosecute them for theft:

Former parliamentary speaker Peter Slipper tried three times to have criminal charges thrown out of court following claims he misused his travel entitlements during several trips to some of the Canberra region's most prestigious wineries.

But three days spent wining and dining in 2010 caught up with Slipper in the ACT Magistrates Court on Monday when he was found to have been dishonest in using almost $1000 in Cabcharge vouchers to pay for hire car travel to the wineries.

Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker found Slipper had acted dishonestly, and that he had knowingly caused a risk of loss to the Commonwealth.

Instead, we do the opposite: when Claudette Hauiti rorted her parliamentary expenses by sticking private travel and a holiday to Australia on her charge card, Parliamentary Services covered it up for her. We still don't know how much she stole, only that she was such a persistent offender that they took her card off her. And the message that sends is that MPs are above the law and not accountable to the public.