The Minister of Finance???

Free travelWoke up this AM to the news that Australia’s Minister for Finance, Mathias Corrmann – THE man in charge of the country’s monetary policy and finance issues, not to mention producing a balanced budget for the Nation, has just paid back $3000 for a family holiday he and his wife and kids took 12 months ago that he had not actually paid for. Apparently it was an ‘Administrative Error’ – NOT on his part of course but on the part of the travel company the trip was booked with?

The story went on to explain that Mr Corrmann (a Belgian born Australian citizen who’s done rather well for himself here in spite of sounding like, and having a more than passing physical resemblance to, Arnie Schwarzenegger before he got his dialog coach!) had done the right thing and given his credit card details to the company for payment on his trip. (i have to assume it was his personal credit card and not his Department’s Ministerial card, or the ‘error’ may well have been picked up much sooner than when it was, which was within 24 hours of a newspaper discovering it somehow – before either the travel company’s accountants or Our Nation’s Senior Monetary Policy Planner did!) Mr Matthias has now paid (barring a second ‘administrative error’ in processing his card details) the money that was owed to the travel company for the trip previously taken and, one would hope, enjoyed by Mr Matthias’s family and no more need be said about it! 🙂

Well… not that is unless you consider the other MINOR little quibbling detail the story happened to include when reporting it to the public.

You see Mr Matthias had previously signed off on a contract his department had approved to a group to provide travel for not only himself as Minister of Finance, but also his entire departmental staff, and in fact, as it turns out, for the ENTIRE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT FOR THE NEXT 3 YEARS!! A not inconsiderable sum estimated to be worth over a billion dollars! – so what’s a measly $3000 when you’ve got that kind of money to ‘worry’ about? By some amazing coincidence he happened to accept this company’s tender and signed the contract just shortly after the time that he ‘booked’ his unpaid (until now) holiday!

By an even more amazing coincidence the company the flights and accommodation for the trip were booked with just happened to be the SAME group – Helloworld – that won the Governmental travel tender! How amazingly coincidental!

By an even more staggeringly amazingly coincidental coincidence it has now been revealed that in July 2017 Finance Minister Mathias Cormann personally asked Andrew Burnes, the chief fundraiser and Honorary Treasurer of the Liberal Party,  and managing director of the government’s travel contractor, Helloworld, to book three separate return family trips to Singapore, not just the one in question. Presumably it is common practice to give your good friend and businessman your personal credit card details when asking him if he wouldn’t mind booking your family’s next three private holiday trips for you rather than having to do all that pesky typing your details in on a website or actually waiting on the phone while an operative gets around to taking your very important call for yourself? It is indeed unfortunate that in this case there was an unfortunate Administrative Error than meant that the company did not charge Mr Corrmann’s card with the cost of this one (what about the other 2 made at the same time??) trips. It is doubly unfortunate that, despite the company both knowing and showing the amount as being unpaid for over 18 months, they never once sent Mr Corrmann a friendly reminder or even a ‘Please Explain/ Final Demand’ notice requesting funds be issued for services rendered?

But like i say – what’s a measly $3000 dollars between 2 friends, one who own companies given a billion dollar contract and the other who has the power to award or deny said contract? It’s so easy for a man earning taxpayer funds to the tune of almost $400,000 per year (plus expenses) to not notice the sum of $3000 he ‘spent’ for a family holiday had not actually come off his credit balance, i’m sure (not that i will ever know)!

But hey, it’s not like you need to be good with finances to be the Finance Minister of your country now – is it?

I predict he will still be the man in charge of Australia’s government finances and all financial policy for the nation and will not ‘trip’ up right up until he and the rest of the incompetent, in-fighting government is thrown out in the May election.

It can’t come soon enough. 😦

 

Another view on this story was rather humourously presented here – i recommend it! 🙂

https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/mathias-cormann-solves-the-parable-of-loaves-fishes-and-a-credit-card-20190219-p50yqx.html

 

8 comments

    • In our world we could not fail to notice it. He is taking full responsibility for not ‘checking’ it or realising he had 3 grand more than he should have in his personal account??? We don’t know if it is him or his wife who does the home accounts… or maybe he asks a good Party colleague in the Treasury to check his personal accounts for him since he does the same for booking personal holidays – apparently???

      They do not live in ‘our’ world, – more’s the pity!

      Like

    • It’s peanuts compared to the $21 million commission his mate in the Liberal Party got for winning the 3 year Governmental Travel contract just after he booked the Minister’s personal holidays for him!!??

      I wonder what sort of present the bloke gave the Minister for that little ‘bonus’?

      Also it was amazing how fast the owed $3000 got paid back once the papers were about to publish the news! 😦 And how fast everyone involved had prepared stories to cover their arses!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. OH, I really liked hearing about another government fiasco in a different country. I get tired of hearing only about my own!!! The U.S. news is terrible, they never tell us anything about other countries. That is why I subscribe to news from the BBC. Is there a good Australian one to subscribe to? I love knowing what goes on in other parts of the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A lot of our media is starting to look and sound an awful lot like the US media, but then there has always been a strong tendency for Aussies to copy the US in many ways. Originally we would mostly try to emulate our ‘Mother’ country, England but with the decline of Empire we have gradually swapped our Allegiances to align with you guys (and girls) 😉

      I would recommend you try our ABC (ABC.Net.Au) services for news and TV to get a reasonable view of how we see ourselves and the rest of the world, but even they will take some US feeds verbatim, just not all of them maybe?

      It’s our National Broadcaster and is government funded not commercially based (or biased).

      There has just been an issue (of long standing now) however regarding their future direction and management which i think i have to write a ‘brief’ post about.

      As with this post it shows that Government’s, Leaders and Ministers (=Secretary’s) today are impossible to take seriously anymore.

      As an indication of the rest of our media’s ‘Independence/ Cultural integrity’ you can make your own decision about which Aussie Commercial News and Culture Channel you watch on the internet: The top two are either Microsoft MSN Channel 9 or Yahoo! (Channel) 7. Sadly i am being serious – those are our real names.

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