Essential Report

Politicians’ expenses

Aug 17, 2015

Q. Which of the following political expenses should politicians be reimbursed for?

  Total   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote Other   Oct 2013
Travel for events directly related to their electoral or parliamentary work (unlimited if work related) 64% 65% 70% 78% 61% 70%
Printing of materials to inform their electorate 62% 62% 68% 69% 59% 53%
Publications allowance (for books and magazines) 38% 37% 42% 52% 33% 31%
Overseas study trips (a limited number per year) 34% 34% 38% 46% 29% 36%
Free use of a taxpayer funded car 29% 27% 35% 29% 22% 29%
An allowance for nights spent in Canberra, regardless of where the MP stays 26% 24% 31% 23% 23% 19%
An electorate allowance that covers the cost of serving the electorate, which MP’s can keep if it is not spent 21% 20% 22% 26% 20% 16%
Social events for networking purposes 17% 12% 26% 11% 12% 19%
Travel for politicians families to visit them in Canberra or interstate when they are on Government business 16% 16% 16% 26% 12% 18%
Travel for politicians spouses to accompany them on overseas trips 15% 14% 16% 21% 15% 15%

More than half approve of reimbursing politicians for travel for events directly related to their electoral or parliamentary work (64%) and printing of materials to inform their electorate (62%). A substantial minority also approve a publications allowance (38%) and limited overseas study trips (34%).

Very few supported funding for travel for spouses to accompany them on overseas trips (15%) or family travel within Australia (16%).

Since this question was asked in October 2013, support has fallen for funding travel to directly-related events (down 6%), but increased for printing (up 9%), publications (up 7%) and an allowance for nights spent in Canberra (up 7%).

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