Treasurer Kevin Foley’s personal mobile phone bill for 2009 cost South Australian taxpayers a massive $22,000.
“Mr Foley must explain publicly why he is wasting up to $22,000 per annum when there are many local phone plans offering unlimited national calls, text messages and significant mobile internet browsing for $129 per month, or only $1,548 per annum,” Shadow Minister for Finance Rob Lucas said today.
“This is an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money and a clear example of the warped priorities of the Rann Labor Government.
“Mr Foley must now explain why he’s considering closing facilities like The Parks and slashes funds to hospitals, schools and family services yet he and his personal ‘Spin Doctors’ can continue to waste money on mobile phone calls.
“Based on material obtained under Freedom of Information laws, Mr Foley spent $21,997 in 2009 on his mobile phone bills. This equates to over $60 per day, every day.
“The (attached) material also revealed that Mr Foley racked up $5,390 in the month of September alone, or almost $180 each day.
“In fact, taxpayers have paid a massive $84,363 over eight years just for the mobile phone bills of Mr Foley.
“Furthermore, Mr Foley’s ‘Spin Doctors’ and other staff had racked up almost $18,000 in mobile phone bills for 2009.
“In fact, one of Mr Foley’s former Ministerial Adviser’s, Dan Romeo, charged almost $10,000 to the taxpayer for 2009.
“Mr Romeo wasn’t Mr Foley’s Chief-of-Staff and nor was he the Treasurer’s Media Adviser, so the question must be asked: how did Mr Romeo’s mobile phone bill explode to almost $10,000 for only one year?
“It must also be noted that Mr Romeo managed to secure a $24,000 pay rise from Mr Foley in January this year, backdated to October last year.
“If Mr Foley’s feeble response is that this is a whole-of-government contract, then Mr Foley stands condemned for more than eight years in not renegotiating a contract which places a sensible $1,500 cap on mobile phone costs each year.
“It is no wonder the State Budget is plunging into deficit when simple and commonsense ways to save taxpayers’ money are ignored by Mr Foley. Every South Australian with a mobile phone understands you can get unlimited phone calls under a capped plan – obviously everyone except for Mr Foley.”