News National Our politicians splurged this much on Aussie flags
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Our politicians splurged this much on Aussie flags

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Australian politicians spent $500,000 on Australian flags in six months, forcing Treasury to tighten rules on allowances.

According to a report in the Australian Financial Review, Liberal MP John Alexander topped flag spending at $17,949, with independent Queensland MP Bob Katter following with $13,320.

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Bob Katter said he wishes he was number one in flag spending. Photo: Getty

Despite his penchant for a flag filled press conference, Tony Abbott did not spend anything on them during the six months period of 2014 on flags.

Overall, 90 Liberal and National MPs forked out $330,000 on flags with Labor members spending $130,000.

Before July 1 2015, politicians could hand out an unlimited number of flags to certain organisations like RSLs and schools. They were also permitted to give out $900 worth of desktop and miniature flags and 50 large flags to individuals.

After July 1 2015, federal politicians flag allowance was changed to fall within their “single office budget” of $98,000 for senators and $130,000 for MPs.

A spokesperson for Mr Alexander said his flag budget went to Rotary Clubs who sponsor students’ overseas travel, nursing homes and various community groups.

Mr Katter told Australian Financial Review: “I’m utterly ashamed of myself that I was number two. I have a lot of work to do.”

“It shows monumental stupidity and a total lack of Australianness in the government,” he said of the new cap on flag spending.

National MP Bruce Scott, who was the third highest spender at $12, 235 said the flag budget was “extremely well spent”.

“I will not stop giving out flags, because I think it is a great symbol that unites us regardless of our ethnicity, religion or our status in the community.”

The Greens spent $11,270 on flags, the Palmer United Party $2,330 and the Independents $26,330.

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