Former Prime Ministers nest with the golden goose

The Sydney Daily Telegraph published this story covering the nesting arrangement our former Prime Ministers have with the goose that lays the golden taxpayer funded eggs.

Elected and employed by the people of Australia, on top dollars and perks for lying and misleading, then enter retirement with a wacking great pension most would appreciate. This flock of FPM’s continue the perks angle milking it with great manual dexterity.

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Harry Palmer – SOS-NEWS 

Former prime ministers costing Aussie taxpayers plenty to keep them happy

The Daily Telegraph

Then-prime minister Tony Abbott, third from left, with former prime ministers Julia Gillard, Bob Hawke, John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Paul Keating in 2014.

AUSTRALIA’S booming club of living former prime ministers cost taxpayers $430,449 in entitlements for the first six months of last year.

That figure does not include the six-figure pension to which the former PMs are entitled.

It also doesn’t include any costs incurred by Tony Abbott, who lost office in the second half of 2015 and remains in parliament.

Five former leaders — Bob Hawke, Paul Keating, John Howard, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard — are able to claim the entitlements.

Each is entitled to a city office, business class travel, a personal vehicle, limousine travel to official events, taxpayer-funded phones and fax machines as well as printing allowances. They can also claim travel costs for their spouse to engagements.

The entitlements are expected to top more than $1 million a year in coming decades.

John Howard heads the list because of his plush Sydney office, which cost taxpayers $106,767.03 in rent for the first six months of 2015. Former Labor leader Kevin Rudd is the next most expensive, with his costs totalling $83,000 for the same six-month period.

How much our former PMs are costing Aussie taxpayers.

In 2014, Julia Gillard infamously spent $408,304.34 on fitting out her office in Adelaide and another $46,108.30 on facilities.

However, her current costs for keeping the office are just $25,0000.

Influential independent Senator Nick Xenophon — who travels economy class and has pushed for entitlements to be reined in — said he had no issue with former prime ministers having lifelong entitlements, but conceded costs could be cut.

“There must be a more cost-effective way of honouring our former prime ministers,’’ Mr Xenophon said.

“We need to respect the position of former prime ministers and acknowledge their continued contribution to the community but ensure the costs are being used wisely.”

There is no suggestion that any of the former PMs have misused their entitlements for personal gain.

All remain actively sought after for public speaking ­engagements and at times to represent the federal government.

“Their perks are related directly to their country and commonwealth service and that’s important,’’ Mr Xenophon said.

There is no push within either the government or the opposition to scale back the entitlements of former PMs.

Parliamentary expenditure has been a hotbed issue in the wake of the Bronwyn Bishop “chopper gate” saga. The former speaker used taxpayer funds to fly a luxury helicopter 80km from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

The deposed Mr Abbott, Mr Rudd and Ms Gillard are all under 60 and each of them will potentially be able to claim entitlements for the next four decades.

Both Mr Howard and Labor stalwart Bob Hawke claim family travel entitlements because their partners Janette Howard and Blanche d’Alpuget remain high-profile public figures who are invited to multiple events.

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