Topics:  bruce scott, mp expenses

Scott near top for travel bills

Bruce Scott
Bruce Scott File

MEMBER for Maranoa Bruce Scott recorded the third-highest figure for family member travel costs of any federal politician, the latest MP expense report shows.

Under current guidelines, federal parliamentarians can nominate family members to receive taxpayer-funded domestic travel entitlements, including a private vehicle allowance, COMCAR use, hire cars and Cabcharge.

The expenses report shows the LNP's Mr Scott racked up a total of $19,134 in family travel costs between July and December last year, behind Labor members Brendan O'Connor on $19,245 and Gary Gray on $32,817.

The report does not name Mr Scott's nominated family members, but listed as "Traveller 1" is understood to be his spouse Joan.

Release of the expenditure items comes as federal pollies get set to pocket their second pay rise in less than three months, with a 3% increase following a $4,400 salary boost in March.

Backbenchers like Mr Scott will now rake in a base salary of $190,500 a year, or an extra $106 a week.

Mr Scott's family travel records show 37 flights over the six months, mainly between the Scotts' home base of Roma and Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.

A total of 23 COMCAR trips were paid for by the taxpayer, with rides taken in Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

Queensland MPs with lesser family travel costs than Mr Scott include LNP Senator Barnaby Joyce on $13,547and the Australian Party's Bob Katter on $12,645.

The average family travel spend of the 226 members and senators was $4719, with many not incurring any.

Mr Scott was inspecting coal seam gas plants west of Roma yesterday and was out of mobile range.

Other expenses incurred by Mr Scott between last July and December included $19,569 in personal travel allowance, $21,974 for flights, $155,442 in office expenses and $27, 464 in vehicle costs, with no overseas travel.

Independent MP Rob Oakeshott failed in a bid to link politicians' pay to performance, with his bill defeated in the Senate after narrowly passing the lower house.

Mr Oakeshott pointed to the independence of the tribunal which sets MPs' pay, saying he would accept a pay cut if deemed appropriate.

"I have previously said I'd do this job for a can of baked beans if I could feed my family and if it was the same rules for everyone," he said.

Additional reporting by  APN Newsdesk



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