Time for Action on Entitlements

Posted by Des Menz in Politicians, Bias, and Entitlements on 21 July 2015

In the letter to Parliamentary Speaker Bronwyn Bishop, her poor judgement and profligate spending were exposed. It is within the power of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to replace her, but for now he is standing by her and put her on "probation".

Probation! She has been Speaker for more than 20 months! How ridiculous.

The "game" that politicians play day-in day-out is appalling. Endless bickering. Endless selfishness. Endless elitism.

And endless "entitlements", for which the taxpayer doles out. It has to stop, and be wound back. Here's the first shot to Bill Shorten, Labor Opposition Leader.

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Sent by email on 20 July 2015

Dear Mr Shorten

I have written to Bronwyn Bishop and The Prime Minister about the Speaker's travel expenditures matter. For your information, here is what I sent to the PM on 20 July 2015.

Dear Prime Minister

The Parliamentary Speaker Bronwyn Bishop has betrayed the people of Australia, just as much as 

she has betrayed the role of Speaker. 

What has transpired in recent days about her use of travel “entitlements” has caused me to write to 


It is time that every politician in Australia stopped thinking that the taxpayer is there to subsidise 

their unprincipled, unethical, and at times illegal behaviour. It is intolerable that the Speaker and 

other politicians feed off the taxpayer in so many ways and yet at the same time deny those in great 

need of assistance.

It is appalling that she thinks that an “error of judgment” has been made about the abuse of 

taxpayer funds for a private trip to Geelong. Similarly, the $90,000 cost of her two week trip to 

Europe last year is disgraceful. It is equally appalling that she spent more than $300,000 in 

overseas travel in 2014. Were these huge spendings, sufficient to create at least six jobs, “errors of 


If you think that these sorts of expenditures are part of your normal government behaviour, and are 

within the “rules”, then it’s about time those rules were changed to reflect normal societal 

standards. The Speaker, and you, are in parliament to serve the people of Australia, not to rip them 


If you think that the Speaker's case is different from others that have preceded her about the mis-

use of parliamentary expenditure, or of excess expenditure, then a very big error of judgement has 

been made. 

The problem with politicians and their “entitlements” is that they think it is a right once they enter 

parliament. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had “entitlements” in life? What sort of society would we 

have? This “entitlement” rubbish is a symptom of the decay that is rippling through Australian 


The Speaker is in a very privileged position, and her behaviour must be seen by everyone to set an 

example about reducing expenditure, particularly when we are all told that the national budget is 

in a mess, and that there is “debt and deficit” everywhere. This is such hypocrisy. 

And I won’t go to the other huge problem of the Speakership - blatant bias - that is emblematic of 

the disdain that currently exists with that role.

The Speaker has let down the people of Australia, and accordingly you should ensure that she steps 

down immediately from the Speaker’s chair. Bronwyn Bishop should follow your Coalition 

predecessors who were required to resign from the Ministry in order meet higher expectations 

under John Howard than she has under your leadership. You would well know the Ministers 

involved; their names are in the public domain. These cases go on … and on … and on. 

The public is very cynical about the behaviour of politicians (regardless of which political party), 

their largesse, and the perception of not being in touch with the ordinary person.

Will you have the moral compass to stand Bronwyn Bishop down and ensure that she apologises for 

the abuse of taxpayer funds? 

Will you then admit that Bronwyn Bishop failed to observe the importance, fairness, and austerity 

of the privileged role as Speaker?

Will you then campaign to limit ALL politicians' “entitlements” in the interests of a better 

parliament and better society?

I look forward to your reply.


Des Menz

Armagh SA  5453

PS : I am neither a Liberal, National, Labor, Greens, or any other political party voter or supporter. 

I am the voice of the disaffected "progressive centrists” if any tag should be pinned to me.

Mr Shorten, as Opposition Leader, what will you and your party do to limit the gross abuse of politicians' expenditure in their respective roles? 

I am a self-employed senior, but when 15% tax is ripped out of the piddling amounts of income that my meagre super fund earns, it makes me seethe with contempt for the likes of the Speaker when she spends in excess of $300k in one year on travel expenses. 

It is my 15% tax contribution that is going towards this. 

No wonder my blood pressure rises when I see BS like this!

I look forward to your reply.


Des Menz

Armagh via Clare

SA  5453

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