Daily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Yee-Fui Ng, Lecturer, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University

The federal government is considering trimming welfare spending in an effort repair the budget bottom line.

As Q&A panellists debated welfare reform, the founder and chief executive of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Kon Karapanagiotidis, said on Twitter that what a politician can claim for one night for staying in Canberra for work is equivalent to an entire week on Newstart.

Is that true?

Checking the source

When asked for a source to support his assertion, Karapanagiotidis directed The Conversation to a recent News.com.au article.

You can read his full response here.

We can independently test Karapanagiotidis’s original statement against publicly available data.

How much can a politician claim for a night in Canberra for work?

The travel allowances for members of parliament are set out here on the Department of Finance website.

image Department of Finance The rate depends on where you are travelling from. Since August 2015, for those travelling from locations within a 30 km radius of Parliament House, the rate is $273 for an overnight stay. The legislation underpinning this is the Parliamentary Entitlements Act 1990. How much is a week of Newstart worth? By comparison, the Newstart benefit rates are set out here on the Department of Social Services website. As outlined in this recent FactCheck, the single rate for Newstart is currently $527.60 per fortnight. The rate for a lone parent is $570.80 per fortnight and the partnered rate is $476.40 per fortnight. image Department of Social Services So if you compare the flat rate for travelling overnight within Canberra ($273) to the Newstart single rate of $527.60 per fortnight ($263.80 per week), Karapanagiotidis was right, it is an equivalent amount. Verdict Kon Karapanagiotidis was correct. In fact, a politician can claim slightly more in travel allowance for one night’s stay in Canberra than a single person can claim for an entire week on Newstart allowance. – Yee-Fui Ng Review I read the figures for the travel allowance on the Department of Finance website as applying to the places where you travel to and not where you travel from. However, this still means that if parliamentarians travel to within 30 kilometres of Parliament House, they receive $273 per night (and if they travel to central Sydney they can receive $400 per night). The basic rate of Newstart is correct. However, in addition, a single person aged 60 or over, after nine continuous months on payment, also receives up to $570.80 per fortnight. Currently, recipients are very likely to receive two extra payments – the Income Support Bonus and the Energy Supplement. However, the Income Support Supplement will cease to be paid next month and it is reported that the Energy Supplement will be abolished in the omnibus budget bill to be introduced in parliament this week. There are a range of supplementary payments that Newstart recipients may receive depending on their circumstances – for example, Rent Assistance – but this provides only a fraction of what people actually pay in rent. So it is correct that the basic rates of Newstart, except for payments for lone parents and older long-term recipients, are less than the travel allowance for a one night stay in Canberra. – Peter Whiteford Have you ever seen a “fact” worth checking? The Conversation’s FactCheck asks academic experts to test claims and see how true they are. We then ask a second academic to review an anonymous copy of the article. You can request a check at checkit@theconversation.edu.au. Please include the statement you would like us to check, the date it was made, and a link if possible.

Authors: Yee-Fui Ng, Lecturer, Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University

Read more http://theconversation.com/factcheck-qanda-is-a-weeks-worth-of-newstart-equal-to-what-a-politician-can-claim-for-one-night-in-canberra-64598

Writers Wanted

No Barnaby, 2050 isn't far away. Next week's intergenerational report deals with 2061


Tips For Good SEO In The Law Sector


The Conversation


Prime Minister interview with Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

Karl Stefanovic: PM, good morning to you. Do you have blood on your hands?   PRIME MINISTER: No, it's obviously absurd. What we're doing here is we've got a temporary pause in place because we'v...

Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon - avatar Karl Stefanovic and Allison Langdon

Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered Keynote Address at AFR Business Summit

Well, thank you all for the opportunity to come and be with you here today. Can I also acknowledge the Gadigal people, the Eora Nation, the elders past and present and future. Can I also acknowled...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Morrison Government commits record $9B to social security safety net

The Morrison Government is enhancing our social security safety net by increasing support for unemployed Australians while strengthening their obligations to search for work.   From March the ...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Victorian businesses can claim a rebate on COVID-19 deep cleans until 30 June - but many remain unaware

With exposure sites on the rise and financial stresses already on most Victorian businesses, the recent Business Victoria announcement of a substantial 80% COVIDSafe Deep cleaning rebate is a time...

Article by Damien Smith, CEO of Prime Group - avatar Article by Damien Smith, CEO of Prime Group

Six Tips to Get your Business Known on Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective ways to market your brand to the masses. With the meteoric rise in popularity of various social media platforms over the past decade, millions of brands h...

NewsServices.com - avatar NewsServices.com

Boom in Aussies buying up restaurants, pubs, hotels and bars in regional centres

With international borders closed, regional Australia is seeing a dramatic surge in popularity as people move out of the cities and into their quaint communities. City slickers are looking for new...

Tess Sanders Lazarus - avatar Tess Sanders Lazarus