There is an anti-Hockey piece in the Daily Telegraph – Joe Hockey gets paid to live at home while in Canberra:
JOE Hockey has defended his practice of claiming a $270-a-night taxpayer-funded travelling allowance to stay in a Canberra house majority-owned by his wife on the grounds that it is an entirely legitimate practice embraced by scores of Labor MPs.
I have absolutely no doubt that what he is doing is well within the rules that govern the scheme. So what?
The double dipping of MPs who claim travel allowance to stay in properties owned by themselves or their wives and in some cases reduce their tax by negatively gearing property is well-known in Canberra.
Let’s be clear – this isn’t a story about negative gearing either.
Paying people to live in their own property is the issue. This is worse than Nick Sherry who, at least, was paying his mother to live at her house.
The solution to this issue is that pay MPs a lump-sum in cash and have them organise their work travel and private lives in the exactly the same way every other person does. Travel to and from work is a private expense, and I doubt the ATO would let anyone else claim the away from home deduction if they were living in their own property (albeit away from family).