Spare a thought for poor old Joe Hockey, would you?
But he may be set stack the weight back on.
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At least, that’s the only conclusion I can come to after reading about what he’s been spending Australian taxpayer money on whilst working as the US Ambassador.
He’s spent tens of thousands of dollars on food and entertaining since taking up the role earlier this year.
Brunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch – no meal is overlooked when they’re an opportunity to expense it. You can see the full list of meals Hockey, and his predecessor Kim Beazley, have charged to the government here. It totals a whopping $120,000 in entertainment expenses for the 12 months to June this year.
I find this all a bit rich, when you consider that Hockey – who was ousted at the federal treasurer when Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull came into power – famously spoke out against women who ‘double dip’ by claiming both workplace and taxpayer-funded paid parental leave schemes.
He believes parents who are eligible for an extra $11k per year in maternity leave funding, which is money that allows them to care for their baby mind you, not money they spend on concert tickets and fancy five star meals, should only be entitled to one of the other.
Yet he is receiving an estimated $360,000 as his annual salary (that’s $30,000 a month)…
Plus he’s ‘double dipping’ by receiving his $90,000 annual pension…
Plus he’s receiving a six-figure entertainment allowance.
That’s not double dipping, it’s triple dipping. And we the Australian taxpayers get to foot the bill.
What’s good for the goose is not for the gander, it seems.
I understand he’s an ambassador – he’s got to schmooze and have meetings and all that jazz. But am I the only one who thinks that spending more than two grand a week on meals and entertainment is a little excessive?
Hockey once said the ‘age of entitlement is over’, but from where I’m standing that seems far from the truth.