Today the Turnbull Government has taken the first step in the biggest reforms to the management of parliamentarians expenses in more than a generation.
We have established the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) which will be set up in two phases – first as an interim executive agency which will begin work on 3 April 2017 and then, subject to the passage of legislation, as a statutory authority from 1 July 2017.
The Turnbull Government has also introduced legislation to abolish the life gold pass for all eligible former MPs, apart from former prime ministers.
These two measures are a vital part of the Turnbull Government’s sweeping reforms which will ensure the way parliamentarians spend public money meets the expectations of the Australian public.
Politicians must be accountable for their use of taxpayers’ dollars.
Australians rightly expect that politicians spend taxpayers’ money carefully, ensuring at all times that their work expenditure represents an ethical, prudent, and cost-effective use of public resources.
Establishing an independent authority to be the watchdog and the provider of advice and rulings is going to ensure that Australians can trust that their money is being spent appropriately.
IPEA’s core functions will be to audit and report on parliamentarians’ work expenses. The new authority will provide clear and consistent guidance to parliamentarians and will monitor and administer claims for travel expenses and allowances. It will do this to ensure taxpayers’ funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules.
This is a very important reform. It is the most significant reform to parliamentarians’ expenses in a generation.
The Turnbull Government looks forward to working with all the members of the House and the Senate to deliver these reforms.