Rann Government Ministers and ‘Spin Doctors’ were wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on personal mobile phone costs because they won’t use deals used by most cost conscious South Australians.
“Mr Rann must explain publicly why he and his Ministers are paying up to $16,000 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,” Liberal MLC Rob Lucas said today.
“Based on material obtained under Freedom of Information laws, Mr Rann spent $15,698 in 2006 and in 2005 Mr Foley spent $14,976 on his mobile phone bills.” The material revealed the following:
Minister 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Mike Rann $4,103.25 $13,944.79 $13,894.10 $15,019.35 $15,698.78 $14,041.55 $10,401.13 $87,102.95
Kevin Foley $2,592.08 $3,496.40 $8,120.24 $14,976.34 $6,982.25 $13,547.39 $12,651.58 $62,366.28
“In fact, taxpayers have paid almost $150,000 over seven years just for the mobile phone bills of Mr Rann and Mr Foley,” he said.
“Whilst after seven months figures for six Ministers and their staff have still not been provided, the documents reveal the total mobile phone costs for the other Ministers and their staff was $980,000.
“It is therefore clear that the total mobile phone bill for Ministers and ‘Spin Doctors’ will have been well over $1 million over seven years.
“Mr Rann has to now explain why during a time of global financial crisis he insists hospitals, schools and family services have to deliver his budget cuts, but he and Mr Foley and their personal ‘Spin Doctors’ can waste money on mobile phone calls.
“This is an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money at a time when our leaders are urging financial restraint, and will be greeted with anger by the community when it becomes public.
“The fact that Mr Rann is now regularly ‘tweeting on Twitter’, using his mobile phone rather than the cheaper option of a computer, will only add to the costs to taxpayers.
“The clear message to Mr Rann should be to stop wasting hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ dollars on mobile phone calls and messages and get a new contract like everyone else which caps mobile phone bills.
“It is no wonder the State Budget is plunging into deficit when simple and commonsense ways to save taxpayers’ money are ignored by Mr Rann and Mr Foley.”