Just when I was gearing up to claim my recent holiday to Fiji on my tax return, this happens.
By this, I refer of course to Bronwyn Bishop falling on her sword.
She has officially resigned from her position as Speaker of the House of Representatives, following a protracted, month-long battle with the public over her respect – or lack thereof – for the public purse.
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It’s a bit of a shame, in my view. Because I was hoping things would continue as they were, with politicians enjoying a non-stop gravy train of free money, as I figured it meant us everyday Australians could start playing by the same rules.
You see, in May, I went to Fiji for a week with my family. I checked my emails a couple of times and one day, while I was reading a book by the pool, my mind drifted to a project I was due to start when I returned.
It was purely a personal holiday, booked for leisure reasons (although, side note: does anyone ever really have a break when they’re travelling with small children?)
But technically, it included a few nanoseconds of work-related thoughts. Under the review system our politicians seem to employ when judging whether an expense should be funded by taxpayers, it was practically a work conference.
This means my holiday should have been fully tax-deductible, right?
Because, what’s good for our pollies is good for us everyday plebs, isn’t it?
Bronny’s now gone and ruined all of that by quitting, amidst growing calls for her to do just that.
Tony Abbott hopes her resignation “will help to restore public respect”, he told reporters. He’s promised that the government will hold a “root and branch review” of the entitlements system.
I reckon there must be a few (dozen) Australian politicians who are covertly reviewing their expenses sheets as we speak, quietly shitting bricks as they wonder how they’re going to justify claims for exorbitant limousine charges, five-star meals, first-class travel and attending weddings.
“What has become apparent, particularly over the last few days, is that the problem is not any particular individual,” Abbott said of the whole debacle. “The problem is the entitlement system more generally.”
Finally, Tony and I agree on something.
We can only hope that his flora-inspired review results in genuine change. Time will tell.
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