Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced cutting Life Gold Travel Pass. The scheme used to give former politicians a chance to enjoy special travel privileges. The “surprise bombshell” seems to have angered former MPs.
The Life Gold Travel Pass scheme offered former politicians some travel perks. They were allowed to opt for free business class travel even after retirement. Such travel expenses were directly or indirectly borne by Australians through the taxes they paid. However, with the axing of the scheme, Malcolm Turnbull ensures saving taxpayers around $1.5 million per year.
Almost 200 former MPs are expected to be affected by the decision when Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement on Tuesday morning. He did not even allow a phase-out period for the cutting of the travel pass scheme for retired MPs. The prime minister, on the other hand, specified that the Life Gold Travel Pass will only be used by former PMs. He added that he would not use the scheme even if he is no more a prime minister.
Malcolm Turnbull has taken a strict decision on Life Gold Travel Pass usage because of the recent incident involving former Aussie minister Sussan Ley. He was compelled to resign after it was proved that he used taxpayers’ money to bear his travel expenses for his personal business.
In addition, the Aussie prime minister also announced that he would be introducing an independent agency to make sure the monthly expenditure of the MPs is investigated and reported from time to time. The agency is expected to be launched and implemented by July 2017. Life Gold Travel Pass, according to reports, has affected taxpayers hugely costing them $17.2 million since 2001.
Life God Travel Pass Benefits
Life Gold Travel Pass scheme included benefits for spouses of the former politicians as well. The reports have revealed that some of the MPs used to enjoy the benefits of the pass by taking up free travels for almost 40 years after their retirement. However, the pass only allowed a certain number of trips to the ex-MPs and family members to holiday destinations, including Lord Howe Island, Cairns, Hamilton Island, and Broome, The Daily Mail mentioned.
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott already started working on the cutting of the Life Gold Travel Pass around three years ago. However, it was put aside until Turnbull acted upon it. The scheme was first introduced in 1918. It aimed at providing rail travel to MPs. It gradually evolved and started providing benefits to former senators and members, and their spouses.