The West

Gravy plane : MPs board taxpayer-funded private jet
'Gravy plane': MPs board taxpayer-funded private jet

At a time when Treasurer Joe Hockey says everyone will share the burden of a tough Budget it has been revealed four MPs got an expensive free ride.

Seven News reports the Coalition members used a taxpayer-funded jet to fly from Perth to Canberra, costing more than $140,000.

The RAAF 737 VIP jet flew empty to Perth yesterday to carry four Government MPs and eight staff back to Canberra today, including Justice Minister Michael Keenan and Defence Minister David Johnson.

The estimated cost to taxpayers is $140,483. That works out at around $12,000 a head.

Don Randall, the Federal Member for Canning was also on the flight and according to a Seven News report he said the price was "actually cheaper than flying Qantas".

A quick search found a Qantas flight for $334 and a Virgin flight for $291.

The rules say that the RAAF plane can be used when there are no alternatives.

But one WA member did find a commercial flight at the same time.

“I did take a commercial flight, thanks,” Dr Dennis Jensen, Federal Member for Tangney, said.

Mr Hockey has made it clear he will deliver sizeable cuts in spending when he hands down the Budget tomorrow.

“The Budget will ask all Australians to contribute so that we can build a stronger and more prosperous nation,” he said in a video statement.

The news came at the same time that it was announced that the Budget is likely to include a co-payment for patients visiting general practitioners and other Medicare services.

There is speculation that the co-payment could extend to emergency department patients to stop them avoiding the fee.

The West Australian

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