MEDIA RELEASE: Senator's travel spending reveals need for Transparency Portal

The ATA, a 50, 000+ member taxpayer advocacy group representing the nation’s taxpayers, today condemned Liberal senator Lucy Gichuhi who has been misusing public funds to fly family members to her birthday party. The ATA calls for a real-time spending transparency portal to hold future politicians to account.

“Senator Gichuhi joins a long list of politicians that have shamelessly used public funds for personal matters. The ‘family traveller’ allowance serves to assist visits for family members of politicians on parliamentary, electorate or official business. However, this allowance has consistently been abused. Oftentimes only discovered after deep media investigations and expensive FOI requests ” said Anjali Nadaradjane, Research Associate at the ATA.
  
“Senator Gichuhi claimed that the matter was an administrative error involving a misunderstanding of travel rules. This has become a typical excuse for politicians who refuse to admit they are wrong, feign ignorance over their behaviour or purport to comply with the expenditure rules.”
 
“The continued misuse of public money is likely to continue because the current rules inadequately monitor politicians in their spending. A real-time spending transparency portal will provide accountability and transparency to politician spending. It would involve a public website listing all government spending over $250 with a receipt provided within 30 days of purchase. This will hold politicians to the same standards as our private sector and put an end to these rorts.”
 
“Australian taxpayers bear some of the highest taxes and deserve to know how their money is being used. Transparency portals have been used in several international jurisdictions and have saved money, cut waste, eliminated corruption and improved governance. This is not a question of right or left - it is a question of right and wrong.”

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