Warren Truss spent almost $120,000 to hold on to seat
DEPUTY Prime Minister Warren Truss spent a huge 97% - or $118,718 - of his printing and communications entitlements for the second half of 2013 during the six-week election campaign.
The Member for Wide Bay also claimed some $727,671 on the entitlement between 2009 and the end of 2014, making him Federal Parliament's 18th biggest spender on the entitlement in that period.
Mr Truss spent $71,625 during the last half of 2010 and 70% of that - $50,268 - was claimed during the 2010 election campaign period.Mr Truss's spokesman said it enabled him to "keep his electorate informed" on policies and programs as well as "local projects that receive funding".
He said all Mr Truss's entitlements expenditure was within the guidelines and approved by the Department of Finance.
There are no rules against claiming printing and communications costs during election campaigns, and the entitlement can only be used for "electorate" or "parliamentary purposes", despite those terms not being defined under the regulations.
The last review of the entitlements system in 2010 recommended banning the use of the entitlement during the official six-week campaign period, a recommendation all governments since have ignored.
- DANIEL BURDON