It's a bit late in the day and I don't have any book quotes handy, (the book is in the other room), but here goes:
"Politicians could face spending scrutiny similar to Centrelink clients as the Federal Government moves to crack down on travel expenses which cost almost $120 million for trips in 12 months."
Let's begin that again, shall we? "Politicians could face.." There's that word. "could"
Why not "will"?
If it were any of us common people, we would, definitely, be scrutinised, hounded even, to the point of having any allowances taken from us to repay the "debt". And if that Centrelink allowance is all you're living on, well, that's too bad. You'll get food vouchers and very little else until the debt is paid or until you can prove you didn't do what they say you did.
I don't see why politicians should be treated any differently.
There's more: (no, not steak knives), "As an expenses scandal spreads, blah blah, the Advertiser can reveal the Prime Minister's controversial Iftar dinner during Ramadan cost taxpayers more than $30,000.
The food was prepared by a contracted Halal caterer. Food and drinks at the alcohol-free event cost $7300, other expenses included $9600 for a marquee, $1812 for staff costs and $814 for flowers.
$7300 for food and drinks without alcohol? How expensive is water, tea and coffee anyway?
What about the $1812 for staff costs? How many staff were waiting at this affair and did they receive enough pay each to cover the costs of parking their cars?
Taxpayers also picked up the $5700 bill for airfares and accommodation costs for departmental satff to fly to Sydney for the dinner.
Tender documents reveal 100 federal agencies spent $108 million (not including GST) on domestic "business-related accommodation in 2015-16.
Around $11 million was spent on international accommodation bookings for approximately 40,000 room nights in over 110 countries.
The Government is now seeking a private company to manage its accommodation program and provide value for money. A new software system could also be introduced to administer MP's entitlements and detect suspicious payments.
That system could work in a similar way to how Centrelink monitors welfare irregularities or rorters.
All of this is coming to light since Health Minister Sussan Ley has been exposed for her many expensive trips to the gold Coast for "business purposes" during which she has purchased more than one high priced waterfront apartment.
At this point I think this old cartoon might be appropriate: