Victorian MPs will no longer be trusted to make entitlements claims without proof, as the Andrews government moves to end the 'honesty' system for politicians' perks.
Josh Gordon is The Age's state political editor. After a brief period in the Sydney banking world and the federal bureaucracy, Josh spent six years working as The Age's economics correspondent at Parliament House in Canberra. After cutting himself adrift to travel the world, he was lured back to reporting early in 2007. Most recently he has worked as The Sunday Age's politcal editor, based in Canberra, and The Age's state economics correspondent in Melbourne.
It took a few days, but Daniel Andrews has now acknowledged the deep sense of anger over the liberties some MPs take with the public's money.
Tightening of MP entitlements will be rushed through state cabinet on Monday after the city-based speaker and deputy speaker resigned after claiming cash for living on the bellarine Peninsula.
Telmo Languiller has done the right thing. As he himself acknowledges, staying on as speaker would have inflicted further damage on the privileged office he held.
UPDATE: Victoria's speaker and deputy speaker should quit over revelations they claimed taxpayer-funded entitlements to live by the beach - and miles away from their Labor electorates - the state opposition says.
Victoria's Deputy Speaker Don Nardella has been caught out claiming a generous "second residence" allowance worth almost $40,000 a year while living by the ocean miles from the city electorate they represent.
Daniel Andrews' piety over the Geoff Shaw expense scandal in 2014 has been replaced with blandness, now that Labor house speaker Telmo Languiller has been caught out.
Labor would have learnt from bitter experience that letting expense troubles fester by insisting a claim is "within the rules" is a recipe for disaster.
Pressure is mounting on Premier Daniel Andrews to overhaul politicians' generous entitlements after Labor Speaker Telmo Languiller admitted claiming almost $40,000 to live in Queenscliff failed "community expectations".
Daniel Andrews gets $296,420, while the lowliest backbencher gets at least $148,210 - and all XXX of our state's members of parliaments are entitled to expenses of between $62,248 a year and $11,857.