Disgraced former federal MP Craig Thomson has been given two years to pay off his $25,000 fine for theft after offering to make payments of just $12.50 per week.
Mr Thomson was last year found guilty in the County Court of stealing union funds to pay for restaurants and sex workers while he was secretary of the Health Services Union.
Last month, the 50-year-old sought an order which would allow him to pay instalments of $50 a month, citing financial hardship, and wouldn’t see the fine paid off until 2056.
County Court judge Lisa Hannan said there was “no prospect” of her allowing this and suggested he convert his penalty into jail time.
“This is what stands between you and doing days in jail,” Ms Hannan said.
On Tuesday, Mr Thomson said he would pay the fine within two years “the help of family and friends” after telling the court his monthly income was only $3000.
He will now make a lump sum payment of $3000 followed by a series of monthly repayments.
The former Labor MP said his income was less than his mortgage repayments, and he had received a loan of $400,000 from his parents to help get by.
Mr Thomson was convicted of 13 counts of theft following cash withdrawals he made from a bank account belonging to the Health Services Union between 2003 and 2007 when he was the union’s national secretary.
– with AAP