Federal politicians' expense entitlements put to pub test in the Hunter

Their say: Tanya Budynek, Racheal McDonald, John 'Buddha' Budynek and Jack Deasy at The Family Hotel in Maitland.

Their say: Tanya Budynek, Racheal McDonald, John 'Buddha' Budynek and Jack Deasy at The Family Hotel in Maitland.

Some federal politicians’ use of taxpayer entitlements doesn’t pass ‘the pub test’, some punters at a Maitland hotel say.

Several ministers have been criticised in recent weeks for timing their taxpayer-funded travels to fit with the AFL Grand Final and New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour, while Health Minister Sussan Ley bought a $795,000 apartment while in the Gold Coast on government business.

Video: Nick Bielby

Many commentators say they haven’t technically broken any rules, but their behaviour wouldn’t stand up to common sense assessments from punters, so Fairfax Media ventured to the Family Hotel in Maitland to conduct its own pub test.

The four patrons roundly criticised the behaviour of federal MPs whose entitlement claims have been in the spotlight in recent weeks.

“What about all the people who are struggling from week to week and they see this stuff? It beggars belief,” John ‘Buddha’ Budynek said.