WHY IS THE AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL PARTY STOCKPILLING TONERS ?

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WHY IS THE AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL PARTY STOCKPILLING TONERS ?

 user 2009-11-24 at 10:56:50 am Views: 36
  • #23004

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26385227-953,00.html
    WHY IS THE AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL PARTY STOCKPILLING TONERS ?
    Liberals stockpiling taxpayer-funded office equipment
    A CRIMINAL investigation has been launched into claims the cash-strapped Liberal Party is illegally stockpiling taxpayer-funded office equipment.

    A month after the Auditor-General uncovered widespread rorting of MPs’ entitlements, the Liberal Party is fighting allegations it has breached laws that prevent political parties raiding the public purse.Some Liberal MPs are also miffed after being contacted by the party’s Canberra head office and asked to hand over printer toner cartridges.

    Veteran backbencher Alby Schultz angrily fronted Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull over the claims last week during a partyroom meeting.All MPs receive generous amounts of office equipment – including printers, toner cartridges and mobile phones – but are forbidden from giving any equipment to political parties.Mr Schultz described the practice as “completely inappropriate” and “dumb”, according to witness reports.

    Several other Liberal MPs told The Courier-Mail they had been contacted by the Liberal Party secretariat and asked to supply office equipment.”Clearly, we are facing tough financial times and the party wants a helping hand for the election,” one Liberal MP said.When the allegations were raised with Special Minister of State Joe Ludwig, he announced his department would investigate the alleged misuse of entitlements.”Party secretariats have no entitlement to taxpayer-funded office consumables. I take all allegations of misuse of entitlements, including this one, very seriously,” Senator Ludwig said.

    It is understood Mr Turnbull was deeply angered when he heard of the allegations and has since taken steps to ensure the practice is discontinued.A recent Auditor-General’s report found widespread rorting of parliamentary entitlements, including suggestions that both major parties had cosy relationships with printing firms.Senator Ludwig has since announced a raft of changes and has cut back the annual printing entitlement, from $100,000 to $75,000.