The "Plane of Thrones" must end: Centre Alliance pushes to end business class travel for short-haul domestic flights

12 May 2019

Centre Alliance Senate candidate, Skye Kakoschke-Moore, today launched her #BusinessClassBoycott campaign - calling on all candidates in the federal election to join her in committing to only booking economy class airfares with taxpayer funds for short-haul domestic flights if elected.

And if elected, Skye would introduce a Private Senator’s Bill to legislate these new measures permanently.

Skye said the “common sense” move would save taxpayers millions of dollars. 

“In 2018 nearly $12 million was spent on domestic airfares by federal politicians,” Skye said. 

“When you consider how many thousands of flights this represents - and how many of these flights were business class bookings - the savings to the taxpayer would run into the millions if economy tickets were booked instead,” she said. 

The #BusinessClassBoycott campaign and proposed legislation would see candidates - and already elected MPs and Senators - only book economy class airfares for domestic flights of two hours or less paid for with taxpayer funds. 

“No matter who forms government after the federal election, Parliament will no doubt be pressured to cut government spending in order to boost the country’s bottom line,” said Skye.

“Before essential community services are asked to make do with less, politicians should first look inwardly to see where they can reduce their own spending," she said.

“In an environment where Australian families are being forced to tighten the household budgets due to increased costs of living – including outrageous energy prices – it is simple common sense for our current and aspiring politicians to do likewise.

“Simply because the costs of their airfares come from the public purse should not matter."

Skye said her proposed business class booking ban would not apply to overseas travel on official parliamentary business.

“I recognise that overseas travel can involve substantial distances, with multiple meetings arranged in often short periods of time in order to maximise the time away. In such instances, it’s reasonable to consider business class travel is justifiable,” Skye said.

“That said, my proposed Bill will have a provision where politicians are able to pay the difference between business and economy fares for domestic flights if they so choose.

“It’s time for all politicians to stop treating taxpayer funded travel like their own Plane of Thrones.”

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