Politicians Waste Taxpayers' Money on Meal Expenses, According to Public Poll
5 September 2013, Sydney: A study by online dining club, lunchalot.com has found that when it comes to politicians' expense claims, 83% of Aussies believe MPs and Senators are wasting taxpayers' money on long lunches and fancy restaurants – made famous by Ian 'Sir Lunchalot' Macdonald.
The latest figures published on parliamentarians' expenses show that over the 2012 calendar year a total of more than $100m was claimed in entitlements by MPs and Senators. Of this approximately $2m1 was allocated to cover breakfast, lunch and dinner expenses.
In a bid to help taxpayers, lunchalot.com has sent every MP and Senator across Australia a free 3 year membership to its online dining club valued at over $30,000 - entitling them to 25%-50% off restaurants across Australia.
"We're giving MPs the chance to not only cut their expense claims and save taxpayers' money, but also support restaurant owners across the country," said Richard Tenser, Founder of lunchalot.com.
The study also found that despite actually claiming $39,876 less than main rival Tony Abbott on domestic travel and meal expenses in 20122, 47% of Aussies believe Kevin Rudd to be the biggest spender on meals when compared to Tony Abbott (39%) and Christine Milne (14%).
"The beauty of the lunchalot.com system is that we're not asking MPs to pull out a voucher or anything like that. They just book a table online and the discount automatically gets taken off the final bill for the entire table. There's no reason why they shouldn't take us up on our offer," added Tenser.
The full 'Sir Lunchalot' Culture in Politics Infographic can be viewed at www.lunchalot.com/sirlunchalot
Parliamentarian Expenses at a Glance:
· Tony Abbott claimed $67,816 on travel expenses during 2012 compared to:
· $41,445 claimed by Christine Milne
· $27,940 claimed by Kevin Rudd
· $15,511 claimed by former PM Julia Gillard
· The top 5 biggest claimers of domestic travel and meal entitlements were:
1. $69,094: Warren Snowdon, MP, Alice Springs (Labor)
2. $67,816: Tony Abbott, MP, Sydney (Liberal)
3. $58,376: Greg Combet, AM MP, Newcastle (Labor)
4. $56,726: Julie Bishop, MP, Subiaco (Liberal)
5. $56,173: Martin Ferguson, AM MP, Melbourne (Labor)
· Shamed ex-Speaker of the House of Representatives Peter Slipper racked up $37,320 in domestic travel and meal expenses during the last calendar year
· In 2009, disgraced former Minister Ian MacDonald spent $7,747 on dinner for a group at Rose Bay’s Catalina Restaurant
Notes to Editor
- Full high resolution infographic can be provided on request
- If using the infographic please provide a URL link to www.lunchalot.com/sirlunchalot
- The lunchalot.com survey was conducted by Pure Profile among 1,002 Australians in September, 2013
- A full breakdown of the survey results can be provided on request
1 Figure based on the daily entitlements made available to MPs and Senators for breakfast, lunch and dinner while travelling domestically on official business. http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2013L01606/Html/Text#_Toc363811865
2 Figures published by The Department of Finance and Deregulation http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/