Volume Three 2015 Members' Additional Entitlements
Today the Acting Auditor-General of New South Wales, Tony Whitfield, released his annual review of Parliamentarians’ additional entitlements.
Members of Parliament generally complying with the rules
NSW Members of Parliament, when spending their additional entitlements, generally complied with the requirements of the Parliamentary Remuneration Tribunal’s Determination for the year ended 30 June 2014.
The Sydney Allowance and Member declarations about loyalty/incentive schemes continue to be the areas where members are most likely not to follow the Tribunal’s Determination:
Seven members did not return their unspent Sydney Allowance by the due date. At the end of March 2015, one member still owed more than $25,500. These members chose to receive the allowance as an annual fixed amount and agreed to return any unspent portion by 30 September following the year-end. The Sydney Allowance is provided to members if their principal place of residence is at least seventy kilometres by road from Parliament House or they reside in an outer non-metropolitan electorate, compensating them for additional costs associated with staying in Sydney to attend parliamentary business.
22 members did not complete an annual declaration stating that benefits accrued from loyalty/incentive schemes, as a consequence of using their allowance and entitlements, were used only for parliamentary duties and not for private purposes
In 2014, fourteen members received a total of $13,100 in Logistic Support Allocation Allowances to reimburse their pay TV subscriptions – this has steadily increased from one member claiming in 2011.
One 2014 claim included ‘Deluxe Movie’ channels through Foxtel. That member could not demonstrate the movie channels were for parliamentary purposes.
For the third consecutive year, members spent more than $1.6 million on electorate communication in the month of June, compared to an average monthly spend (excluding June) of $308,000 across the last three years. The Legislature advises that members spend much more in June because the State budget is delivered in June each year.
Please contact Barry Underwood on 9275 7220 or 0403 073 664; email firstname.lastname@example.org.