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 10:58:04 am Views: 56
  • #23005

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,26385227-953,00.html
    WHY IS THE AUSTRALIAN LIBERAL PARTY
    STOCKPILLING TONER CARTRIDGES ?

    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.