POLITICS

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann Caught Up In Expenses Scandal: Report

The WA senator reportedly billed out $23,000 for trips to Broome.

15/01/2017 7:29 AM AEDT | Updated 15/01/2017 2:11 PM AEDT
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has been caught up in the MP expenses scandal.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is the latest federal government MP to be caught up in the political entitlements scandal after reports he claimed more than $23,000 for trips to the resort town of Broome.

Fairfax Media reports that WA sentaor Cormann and his wife made five taxpayer-funded trips to Broome on weekends for electorate business between 2010 and 2014.

One three-day trip in July 2014 reportedly cost taxpayers $6696, including $5662 on flights.

A spokeswoman for Senator Cormann told Fairfax that all claimed expenses for trips to Broome were legitimate, saying as a senator his job involved travel across his "very large electorate".

"Inevitably, much of the travel and attendance at functions and events in the electorate, whether in Perth or across regional WA, occurs Fridays to Sundays, when Senator Cormann has returned back to his home state from interstate parliamentary work commitments," the spokeswoman is quoted as saying.

The latest claims come after Prime Minister Turnbull this week pledged there would be more transparency on political entitlements following a series of expense scandals.

Health Minister Sussan Ley was forced to resign on Friday amid a probe into expense claims she made for trips to the Gold Coast.

In response to the Ley scandal, Turnbull announced the establishment of a new body to oversight political expenses, describing it as an "independent parliamentary expenses authority".

"It will monitor and adjudicate all claims by MPs, senators and ministers, ensuring that taxpayers' funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules," Turnbull said on Friday.

Turnbull's proposal has received broad cross party support from Labor and the Greens.



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