The Turnbull Government has entered 2017 much as it left 2016.
Only this time it has ramped up its tendency to create self-inflicted disaster with renewed vigour.
Many of us, myself included, are only just returning to work after a couple of weeks away from all the mayhem to find that not just a handful of people had been affected by the Centrelink extortion racket but in fact many thousands of elderly pensioners have been sent letters of demand requesting payments of ostensibly ‘misappropriated funds’ amounting to thousands of dollars.
One colleague I spoke to today said his mother had received one such letter, and when she called Centrelink to enquire, was threatened that if she didn’t pay it they would look through her history to find more monies owing.
As one former Turnbull adviser said, if Centrelink was a private company, it would be shut down for fraud.
On the back of Census debacle, this is one catastrophe the LNP Government cannot afford. Particularly when you consider retirees traditionally make up the Government’s support base.
The inimitable Sussan Ley, property investor extraordinaire and occasional Health Minister, has also declared that she will return some of the costs associated with her trip to the Gold Coast to make a spur-of-the-moment purchase in an investment property while apparently visiting a family to talk about their medicine.
Nevertheless, she insists that she’s done nothing wrong, and despite standing down while a so-called “independent” investigation into her other expenses takes place (conducted by the Govt no less, how’s that for independence), maintains that she’ll back in the job soon, doing what she does best. Investing in real estate.
A handful of cabcharge vouchers cost Peter Slipper his job. So it’s difficult to see how Ley can survive this little foray.
All this, and we’ve barely entered week two of the new year.
Meanwhile Malcolm Turnbull is nowhere to be seen.