MPs claim $200k in three months

13th October 2017 5:00 AM
Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.
Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott BUN040714KEN4

KEITH Pitt and Ken O'Dowd have claimed more than $200,000 in federal expenses for the first three months of the year, a new report has revealed.

Mr Pitt, the member for Hinkler, claimed $101,110 in expenses from January 1 to March 31 this year while Flynn MP Mr O'Dowd clocked up $117,189 during the same period.

The figures also include some expenses accrued prior to 2017.

The expenses were revealed in the first report from the new Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, established in the wake of the travel expenses scandal last summer, which saw then health minister Sussan Ley resign from Cabinet.

The new quarterly report is meant to help improve transparency and accountability of all federal members of parliament.

Mr Pitt claimed about $26,000 in domestic fares and $16,500 on overseas ministerial visits to Fiji, Vietnam and Papua New Guinea in his capacity as Assistant Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister.

"Australians rightly expect parliamentarians to spend money efficiently, effectively and ethically," Mr Pitt said.

"I have always complied, and will continue to comply, with the rules around parliamentarians' work expenses and I welcome the increased transparency with the new IPEA system," he said.

"My portfolio responsibilities require me to travel both within Australia and overseas to promote and discuss Australia's trade benefits."

A large chunk of Mr O'Dowd's expenses, $82,770, was spent on office facilities' and "office administrative costs".

Mr O'Dowd claimed about $13,000 on domestic fares.