Letter to the Editor-Wednesday, October 23:It’s on the cards

IT STILL amazes me that politicians and councillors still get a daily travel allowance, or meal allowance, in this new electronic age.

I ceased fulltime employment with Telstra at the end of 2001, as a frontline manager, on an Australian Workplace Agreement, and all my accommodation and meals, when away from home, were paid for on credit cards, supplied to me by Telstra.

At the time it was a Diners Club card, which gave you an itemised account at the end of each month, and a MasterCard for use when the business would not take a Diners Club card. These expense accounts were sent on to me by the finance section at the end of each month for me to verify, then I would send them off to my manager to sign off.

If I stayed with friends, or took my own meal then no expense was incurred, and most times the meals and accommodation that I paid for would be a lot less than the then travel allowance given to the staff. I would have at least one night away from home each week so the saving to Telstra at the end of the year was quite substantial and all expenses were clear.

If this system was used by all, it cuts out the sleeping rough and skimping on meals so as to pocket taxpayers/ratepayers' money.

I see no reason why councillors' expenses should not be made public, after all they are, or should be, doing business and incurring expenses on our behalf.

Ken Crampton OAM,

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