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MP expense reform needs muscle – penalties essential

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 29 Mar 2017
The public will remain sceptical about the Turnbull government’s latest attempt to clean up MPs’ expenses if the measures do not include clear compliance and penalty provisions, Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said. 
 
Senator Rhiannon was commenting on the Parliamentary Business Resources Bill 2017 to be introduced this week by the Special Minister of State Senator Scott Ryan.
 
“Restoring public confidence in parliament and politicians is dependent on strong enforceable measures if MPs flout the rules,” Senator Rhiannon said.
 
“It is all very well for the Minister to say that the Turnbull government is committed to comprehensive reforms but without clear penalties and a willingness to enforce them the government’s reforms will not bring the cultural change needed. 
 
“A Compliance Officer position is needed to oversee MPs’ use of their allowances.
 
“There should be offences for the misuse of allowances or disregarding reporting requirements.
 
“The Compliance Officer should make regular reports to parliament on the status of their investigations of any misuse of allowances by MPs,” Senator Rhiannon said.
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