Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss Geoff Potter

Warren Truss spent $118,718 in six months during campaign

DEPUTY Prime Minister Warren Truss spent some 97% - $118,718 - of his printing and communications entitlements claims for the second half of 2013 during the six-week election campaign.

He claimed $727,671 on the entitlement between mid-2009 and December 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, 70% of which - $50,268 - was claimed during the 2010 election campaign period.

CHECK OUT OUR SPECIAL INTERACTIVE TO SEE WHAT YOUR MP SPENT

Mr Truss's spokesman said it helped him to "keep his electorate informed" on policies and programs as well as "local projects that receive funding" and that all claims were within the guidelines and approved.

First-term Hinkler MP Keith Pitt has spent $143,365 on the entitlement since his election in 2013. Mr Pitt said all his office expenditure was within the guidelines and "publicly available online".

The first-term LNP politician has not yet faced an election as an incumbent, so has not been able to use the entitlement during a campaign.

Politicians can claim printing and communications costs during campaigns and the entitlement can only be used for "electorate" or "parliamentary purposes", despite those terms not being defined under the regulations.

A 2010 review of the entitlements system recommended banning the use of the entitlement during the official six-week campaign period, a recommendation all governments since have ignored.

--DANIEL BURDON



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