It’s hardly the first time a politician has held one standard for the masses and another for himself.
But Victoria’s Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas’s hypocritical remarks about luxury vehicles could take the prize of the month.
A week after telling Victorians who have saved for a luxury car to ‘get a life’, it’s been revealed Treasurer Tim Pallas got special permission to have a Lexus as his chauffeur-driven ministerial car.
Mr Pallas’s new car is a Lexus IS350, which has a base price of about $74,000.
‘Why did he receive an exemption from the normal government purchasing policy to get himself a nice little luxury Lexus to tool around in?’ Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien asked, during question time on Wednesday.
Mr Pallas said the government was reviewing appropriate vehicles.
‘We’ve had to take some vehicles off the list because they’re no longer Australian-made vehicles necessarily,’ he said.
‘I wonder why that is? Well because those opposite did nothing to save our domestic manufacturing industry, nor did their friends in Canberra.
‘So the fact that we are in the process of looking at what vehicles appropriately fit the safety and the efficiency guidelines that we set as a government is really a demonstration of their failure to do their job in government.’
In last month’s state budget, he increased the duty on luxury cars valued upward of $100,000 from 1 July, which is expected to raise $260 million.
At a post-budget lunch last week, Mr Pallas had little sympathy when asked why it was fair to tax someone who, for example, had saved for decades to buy a hi-spec LandCruiser.
‘They’ve been saving up for 20 years for this? Get a life,’ he told the luncheon.
During the budget lockup the day before, Mr Pallas admitted to journalists he had not caught a peak-hour train to work for three years.
Last week it was also revealed he offloaded his Westpac BlueChip20 fund, which included shares in Transurban, the toll road giant in line to haul in billions from its deal with the state government to build the West Gate Tunnel.
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The Australian Tribune with AAP