SOAPBOX: Slipper's right, let's clear up entitlements list
PETER Slipper told me several years ago when his spending of entitlements was under the spotlight ... again ... he wasn't doing anything unusual.
He was simply doing what all his colleagues in Parliament were doing.
I remember thinking at the time it was an odd excuse for questionable behaviour.
Just because everyone else does something doesn't make it right.
It seems there is an air of entitlement when it comes to MPs spending their entitlements.
And it is one that has to stop.
It is time the Federal Government set clear expenditure rules.
When you look at how Peter Slipper was pursued and denigrated by his former colleagues over less than a $1000, there is no doubt the motives behind the pursuit were political instead of looking for justice.
Mr Slipper continuously argued that under the Minchin Protocol - a protocol set up by Nick Minchin in 1998 regulating payment of political expenses - expenses would be handled by the Department of Finance.
If an amount was in dispute, the politician would simply be required to pay it back as Bronwyn Bishop has.
Bronwyn Bishop's oversight - at best - of her spending is something her local newspaper should have covered extensively, as we did with Mr Slipper.
Either Tony Abbott or the Australian Federal Police need to give Mr Slipper a formal apology for the way the matter was handled or Ms Bishop should be required to step down as Speaker, pending a formal investigation.