According to a recent Senate estimates hearing, the government is seeking legal advice on how many pages a Christmas card has. The trigger for this seemingly absurd inquiry comes from the government’s new rules on how MPs can spend their printing and communication entitlements. Every page of material MPs distribute has to have on it:
This material has been produced at Australian Government expense by [insert name of member].
But the Department doesn’t know how to interpret the every page requirement for communications that are folded paper or card. Does folding turn one page into two? Wouldn’t stating the funding source once for each document be (more than) enough?
Other aspects of this regulation turn it from being merely ridiculous into something more sinister. MPs aren’t allowed to use their allowance at all for ‘electioneering’: Read the rest of this entry »