Four politicians left Canberra without paying their debt to taxpayers

Former LNP backbencher Andrew Laming still hasn’t paid a $10,360.05 debt to taxpayers, while longtime Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm has left a much smaller amount unpaid for three years.

According to documents obtained by Brisbane TimesLeyonhjelm’s failure to repay $252.29 for an August 2019 flight means his debt has been on the books of the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority the longest.

Andrew Laming, Samantha McMahon, Lisa Singh and David Leyonhjelm owe taxpayers money.

Another former Liberal Democratic Party senator, Samantha McMahon, who represented the Northern Territory for three years until May 2022, still owes $6093.40.

The documents, released under freedom of information laws, suggest that McMahon’s debt consists of various amounts billed in 2021 and 2022, summarized as “recovery of taxi fares, airfare and travel reimbursements”.

Former Labor Senator Lisa Singh, who lost office in 2019, was billed $373.46 for a plane ticket shortly before Christmas 2020 and has left it unpaid.

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Laming has stated that he will pay “not a cent” back to IPEA, the legal authority created in 2017 to more independently monitor the spending of MPs and senators.

In March, the IPEA found that Laming had to pay back $10,360 for travel between Brisbane, Hobart, Melbourne and Canberra during a week in June 2019 during which he was accompanied by his wife and children.

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