No jobs for political spouses
FORMER deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s renewed push for MPs to be able to give taxpayer-funded jobs to their spouses has fallen flat, with the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader ruling it out.
Mr Joyce lost the leadership of the National Party in February after it was revealed he had a child with former staff member Vikki Campion.
He said it “shouldn’t matter what the public think”, and that MPs should be able to hire spouses because they spent a lot of time away from home, which put pressure on relationships.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was hard to be away from family, but there would be no change to the rules.
“The arrangement has been in place as you know, for five years, a bit more than that. So no, we’ve got no plans for that,” he said.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said Labor had no plans to change the existing policies.
Mr Joyce, who split from his wife Natalie after his affair with Ms Campion, said that “your loved one was probably one of the best persons working for you, because she more than anyone understands your diary and understands kids’ birthdays and anniversaries’’.