One Rule For One, One Rule For Another…Some Australian politicians are double-dipping and just receive a slap-on-the-wrist. Whereas, this exclusive policy helps one to correct for tax errors and I am against taxes as they misdirect resources and favour one group of society over another. However, I disagree with the line of law surrounding it that suggests if your not a politician then get a job and pay your taxes to fund a politician. It is just another issue that the law cannot organise without disorganising justice, for more on disorganising justice see my article on Blunder or Plunder. Following on from my article on Taxpayers Fund Political Spending Spree Lifestyle which focused on the travel allowances. “The “double-dipping” pollies story [about] revelations five MPs admitted yesterday to the practice — claiming a $273-a-night travel allowance for their own Canberra residence while also claiming tax deductions for the property.” (Lewis & Baxendale, 2016) Additionally, this $273 is not regarded as taxable income, taking the same status of a rental property without tenants.
These politicians along withe the many others are now not just spending our taxpayer money on themselves, but now deducting the expenses in their own taxes. “TAXPAYERS are helping to pay the mortgage and the rent for federal MPs who are raking in $1000 a week to sleep in Canberra and then, on top of that, claiming a big tax deduction for rent, rates, electricity and mortgage.” (Maiden, 2016) These tax deductions included on their second residence range from rent, rates, taxes, insurance, general maintenance, lease payments, and interest on borrowings used for the acquisition of the property. “A deduction is allowable for expenses, that are not of a capital, private or domestic nature, in respect of such a property where it is used by a Member for accommodation when he or she is undertaking work-related travel.” (Maiden, 2016) For the specific deductions that politicians are allowed see the Taxation Ruling page, Income tax and fringe benefits tax: Members of Parliament – allowances, reimbursements donations and gifts, benefits, deductions and recoupments.
Lewis, R. & Baxendale, R. (2016). Federal election 2016 live: Turnbull campaigns in NSW, shorten in Wa. The Australian. Retrieved [23/05/2016] from <http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/federal-election-2016-live-turnbull-campaigns-in-nsw-shorten-in-wa/news-story/7e19bfb66c078d3afc28c31c714d6b41>.
Karp, P. (2016). Politicians ‘double-dipping’ on property claims aren’t breaking rules – cormann. The Guardian. Retrieved [23/05/2016] from <http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/may/22/politicians-double-dipping-property-allowance-deduction-rules-mathias-cormann>.
Maiden, S. (2016). Mps’ perks include double-dipping on tax deductions, rent, rates, power and mortgages. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved [23/05/2016] from <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/mps-perks-include-doubledipping-on-tax-deductions-rent-rates-power-and-mortgages/news-story/09d48b66d2d399731ba2c98c8ddab66b>.
Featured image supplied from Pixabay (edited).
Copyright © 2016 Zoë-Marie Beesley
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.