WHAT IS TONER-GATE DOWN IN AUSTRALIA?

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WHAT IS TONER-GATE DOWN IN AUSTRALIA?

 user 2011-02-09 at 10:10:31 am Views: 61
  • #24142

    http://www.news.com.au/national/liberals-spend-300000-in-three-weeks-on-printer-ink/story-e6frfkvr-1226001144233

    WHAT IS TONER-GATE DOWN IN AUSTRALIA?

    Liberals spend $300,000 in three weeks on printer ink
        * MPs ‘ruthless’ ahead of spending cap
        * One spends $25K on toner cartridges
        * Coalition splurged twice as much as Labor

    IT
    HAS been dubbed “toner-gate” – a three-week, $300,000 splurge on
    printer ink by Liberal MPs to stock up on office supplies for the
    pending federal election.After being told in September 2009 that a
    strict finance cap would be introduced from October 1 that year,
    Opposition members ordered $267,288 worth of printer cartridge toner,
    according to documents obtained through Freedom of Information.With the
    election almost a year away, some Liberal figures claimed they were told
    by party HQ to be “ruthless” ordering taxpayer-funded supplies ahead of
    the campaign.One Liberal MP, West Australian Don Randall, ordered
    $25,414.68 of toner cartridges for his office printer, while South
    Australian Patrick Secker spent $21,797.74.Deputy Speaker Peter Slipper
    spent $19,280.83 while ex-Liberal Michael Johnson ordered $18,640.86 for
    his office – enough to fund a marginal seat’s campaign.

    Despite
    its parliamentary majority of 18, Labor MPs spent $127,488 in the same
    period – less than half what the Coalition spent.Among other big
    spenders, senior Liberal frontbencher Chris Pyne ordered $9519.91 worth
    of printer toner while Michael Keenan, the shadow justice minister,
    spent $12,253.90.Tasmanian Senator Guy Barnett, who headed the Liberal’s
    WasteWatch group before last year’s election, ordered nearly $14,000 of
    toner. By contrast, Labor frontbencher Julie Collins ordered $9397.65
    while Queensland MP Grahame Perrett spent just over $7000.

    MPs
    order toner for office printers at a “discount”, with individual
    cartridges priced between $27 and $350 each.The toner blitz triggered
    alarm bells at the Finance Department, with Special Minister of State
    Joe Ludwig warning of “uncharacteristically large orders for office
    requisites in the lead up to the introduction of the yearly cap”.Prior
    to the cap, federal MPs and senators could spend unlimited amounts on
    office consumables such as printer toner and A4 paper.

    From
    October 1, 2009, until June 30 last year, MPs were limited to $26,178.
    Mr Johnson, expelled from the Liberal National Party in May, 2010,
    claimed he was “told to be ruthless” by LNP officials to ensure he had
    plentiful supplies for the election. “As a member of the marginal seats
    campaign, I did what I was told to do, as instructed by the LNP,” Mr
    Johnson said.

    Mr Secker said his office was forced to order new
    toner for an upgraded colour printer.Defending his $21,797.74 order, he
    said it was part of an “Electorate Office entitlement which is put to
    good use to assist the community”.Mr Slipper said “our supply of
    consumables was down to almost zero” due to moving his office.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/liberals-spend-300000-in-three-weeks-on-printer-ink/story-e6frfkvr-1226001144233