Australia to Scrap Free Massages to Bureaucrats

by VR Sreeraman on  January 3, 2008 at 4:29 PM Lifestyle News
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Australia to Scrap Free Massages to Bureaucrats
Australian public servants are to lose one of their more unusual perks as part of a crackdown on bureaucratic spending -- tax payer-funded massages, reports said Wednesday.

Officials spent more than 200,000 dollars (175,500 US) on the rub-downs over two years, Sydney's Daily Telegraph said Wednesday.

Postal workers spent the most on massages (55,000 dollars) but senior staff at the Australian Bureau of Statistics were also partial to the treatment, spending 10,120 dollars, while Treasury officials outlayed 17,000 dollars.

The department of former prime minister John Howard, meanwhile, racked up some 6,000 dollars in massages.

Figures tabled in parliament show bureaucrats spent 108,710 dollars on massages in 2004 and 89,000 dollars the following year.

A spokesman for Assistant Treasurer Chris Bowen, who has previously labelled the practice a "blatant waste of expenditure", said the minister was expected to advise agency heads that tax-payer funded massages must stop.

Other ministers are likely to follow Bowen's lead and scrap the rub-downs as part of new Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's cuts to government spending, the paper said.

Source: AFP
LIN/M

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