A member of parliament swapped his comfort for life on the dole, the front page of The Canberra Times revealed on this day in 1984.
Mr Stephen Lusher, the National Party Member for Hume, had begun an experiment, in which he would live on the dole for a week with a full television crew covering the event.
He was doing so to prove unemployed people had no incentive to work as they were paid so much. To make the week realistic, Mr Lusher's weekly expenses included bond, clothing and other typical costs of living.
The plan received criticism from many. A temporary clerk in the Public Service, Michael Cheyne, offered to take the MP's place for a week. He said he would do so "to confirm my suspicion that politicians are overpaid and underworked".
Like Mr Lusher, Mr Cheyne had his own theory about incentive to work, but it wasn't about people on the dole. His theory was that politicians received so much money that there was insufficient incentive for them to work.
"I promise to endure all of the hardships normally encountered by politicians," he said.
"I will devise new ways to avoid constituents, avail myself of endless first-class travel use Commonwealth cars for shopping sprees in Queanbeyan, and party on to the wee hours."
He said that, despite the life of luxury he would live, he would have money left over by the end of the week.
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