Australian politicians stealing from ordinary Australians

Australian politicians harm ordinary Australians in many ways and two recent examples are especially annoying. There's a lot of public outrage brewing about misuse of parliamentary allowances. Particularly controversial is their using taxpayer money to pay off personal mortgages in the capital, Canberra. And now a free trade agreement with economic giant China threatens Australian jobs.


The grassroots campaigning platform GetUp reports that when they’re in Canberra, members of the federal parliament are entitled to a blanket $270 allowance per night — regardless of whether they sleep in a hotel or in a house they or a family member owns. This has led to a horde of politicians buying up property in Canberra and using their away-from-home allowance to help pay off the loans.  

“This means everyday Australians are not only paying MPs to rent a room in their own home and as a result subsidising their mortgages, but we're also giving our political representatives a major advantage in a very competitive housing market. Doesn't sound right, does it?”

“At the end of the day, there's nothing stopping politicians from using taxpayer money to pay off their mortgages or buy an investment property — in fact this entitlement indirectly encourages them to do so,” writes GetUp!, which claims a membership of nearly one million people.

It encourages people to start their own petitions. “You can start a petition on any aspect of the issue; you could call for a crackdown on politicians' entitlements, or demand greater transparency around the use of taxpayer money to pay off mortgages in Canberra - it's totally up to you!

The issue heated up a few weeks ago when the media revealed that Treasurer [finance minister] JoeHockey spends his allowance 'renting' the $2.5 million Canberra house his wife owns. Hockey also owns a $5.4 million house in the affluent Sydney suburb of Hunters Hill and a $1.5 million Queensland farm.


“This from a man who recently accused new mothers of double dipping [cheating on welfare] and advised people struggling to buy their first home "to get a good job that pays good money", GetUp! comments

“You don't get paid to live in your home, so why should a politician? Have your say about politicians' entitlements by starting a CommunityRun petition today and get the word out there. You won't be alone; every step of the way you'll be supported by our friendly CommunityRun team and you're bound to come across lots of people who feel the same way you do.”

If high unemployment wasn’t bad enough, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has just signed the China FTA, a trade agreement negotiated in secret that will see local workers abandoned - locked out of good jobs.

The trade union movement is urging people to email their Members of Parliament to tell them they don’t support the China FTA and that Australia needs to create jobs and not destroy them by trading them away.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) writes that under the agreement:

  • Chinese companies that invest $150 million or more in a project will be able to bring in temporary workers;
  • There will be no requirement that jobs be offered to local workers first; and
  • Chinese companies will be able to sue Australian Governments if they believe that an Australian law adversely impacts on their business.

“So while Abbott is trumpeting the benefits of the deal, the simple truth is it will destroy job opportunities and we will give up our right to make laws beneficial for working people.”

The deal would also allow Chinese companies to compete unfairly against local companies because they are:  

  • Often unfairly subsidised by their government;
  • Not bound by fair labour laws that provide workers with decent wages and conditions; and
  • Able to ignore environmental standards and regulations

“With youth unemployment the highest in a decade we cannot afford to stand by and watch as our kids miss out on job opportunities. That’s why we need to stand up to Abbott and his mates in big business who are the only ones benefitting from this.”

Zeige Kommentare: ausgeklappt | moderiert


Earlier this week The Greens supported the Abbott Government's cuts to Australian pensions.

We need to tell The Greens that the cuts will make life harder for working people when they retire.

In fact, this deal will see ordinary Australians worse off while wealthy self-funded retirees continue to receive generous tax benefits.

Analysis by respected research firm Rice Warner and superannuation experts Industry Super Australia shows those hit the hardest by the Greens–Abbott deal are middle to low income working people earning $75 000 or below. 

That’s most of us.

You can read the full details here but it’s pretty shocking that the Greens have signed up to a deal that will disadvantage around 80% of single women retiring in 2055 as well as single men across most age groups.

To Build a Better future, it’s essential that we have a fair system for retirement that includes proper pensions and superannuation to ensure working people have decent living standards in retirement.

We can stop these cuts.

When Abbott Government Minister Scott Morrison sold this deal to The Greens, I'm sure he didn’t explain that these cuts will deepen inequality and hurt working people.

It is up to us to tell them.

Contact your local Greens Senator and ask them to stand with us and vote against these vicious cuts to our pensions which will rob working people of their right to retire with dignity.

In unity,

Dave Oliver
ACTU Secretary


Australian Unions Team