Federal politicians from the Coalition, Labor Party, Greens, Independents and the Palmer United Party collectively spent over $500,000 on Australian flags in six months of 2014, according to a report filed by the Australian Financial Review.
Five hundred thousand dollars? On fucking flags? Satire, this sadly is not.
AFR breaks down the flag expenditure like so:
Spending on Australian flags now comes under office budgets for Senators and MPs – grouped in with stationery and office supplies; previously, Federal politicians were permitted to give out unlimited flags to community groups, such as RSLs and schools. You get a flag, and you get a flag, everybody gets flags.
Which may account for the current flag expenditure by MPs – AFR reports the highest spender on flags is John Alexander, member for Bennelong—and initiator of “matehoods”—who spent a staggering $17,949 on flags in six months. Maaaaaaate.
The news may not come as a surprise given the recent increased flanking of flags at press conferences, that have peaked to double digit, fuck-off levels of late:
Surprisingly, despite his affinity for them, Prime Minister Tony Abbott reportedly did not claim any flags as part of his expenditure in the six month period last year.
Tony Abbott to sister: “No, I said I’m working on legislation to let flags marry!”
— Wil Anderson (@Wil_Anderson) June 23, 2015
Queensland MP Bob Katter, who closely followed John Alexander’s spending with $13,320, told the AFR, “I’m utterly ashamed of myself that I was number two. I have a lot of work to do.” The new cap on office expenditure—including flags—was described by Katter as showing “monumental stupidity.”
View the budget break down on flags by the Australian Financial Review here.
Image by Ryan Pierse via Getty.