6 MPs ruled ineligible by High Court will pay back nothing, debts waived - Mathias Corman releases statement just before Good Friday
There aren't many situations where people who've been overpaid get their debts waived.
Centrelink doesn't do it.
Try keeping a Family Tax Benefit overpayment.
But nothing is too good for pollies looking after pollies under the Old Mates Act.
And the decision gets announced just before the one day there's no newspapers, Good Friday.
Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Following decisions by the High Court last year regarding the ineligibility of some Parliamentarians, relevant departments undertook a process to determine appropriate action regarding each debt pursuant to requirements in the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.
Part of that process, involving the Department of Finance, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority and the Department of the House of Representatives and the Department of the Senate, included the creation of a departmental advisory committee of senior public officials to advise the associated debts.
The departmental advisory committee determined that all Parliamentarians performed their duties in good faith for a proper purpose and that it was difficult for individuals at the time of nomination to know that they were ineligible for nomination.
As such, the departmental advisory committee recommended waiving debts consistent with the principles and intent of the ‘Requests for discretionary financial assistance under the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2014’.
Based on the recommendation of the committee, I have agreed to waive the debts of the following individuals:
- Rodney Culleton
- Barnaby Joyce
- Scott Ludlam
- Fiona Nash
- Malcolm Roberts
- Larissa Waters
These debts include salaries, superannuation and electorate allowances, as well as non-salary expenses, such as, staff expenses, office expenses and travel expenses.
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is currently reviewing matters relating to Section 44 of the Constitution. The Government will consider the recommendations of the Committee when they are finalised.