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

An unexpected consequence of climate change: heatwaves kill plant pests and save our favourite giant trees


Burnt ancient nutshells reveal the story of climate change at Kakadu — now drier than ever before


My favourite detective: Jules Maigret, the Paris detective with a pipe but no pretense


The Conversation


Ray Hadley's interview with Scott Morrison

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.   HADLEY: I was just referring to this story from the Courier Mail, which you’ve probably caught up with today about t...

Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison - avatar Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Tips to find the best plastic manufacturing supplier for your needs

Plastics are very much an important part of all of our lives, but they’re particularly valuable to a wide variety of industries that rely on their production for their operations. The industries, ...

News Co - avatar News Co

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co

News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion