Stuart Robert ‘has a go’ with his $38k internet bill
“There is a small segment of the community who still think it is OK to cheat the system.” When Stuart Robert made this comment as then minister for Human Services, it appears he wasn’t referring to the $38,000 for home internet bills he was forced to repay taxpayers. Robert had also been notified repeatedly of excess data costs, according to Guardian Australia.
Stuart Robert has repaid taxpayers the almost $38,000 he accumulated in taxpayer-funded home internet bills from 2016. As assistant treasurer, Robert charged taxpayers up to $2800 a month for data at his Gold Coast home, according to Guardian Australia. Robert spent 20 times more than other MPs for home internet expenses.
In February 2016, Robert was quoted as saying: “While most people receiving welfare payments are honest and do the right thing, there is a small segment of the community who still think it is okay to cheat the system.”
While Robert was saying all this, he was claiming the extraordinarily high internet bills from the taxpayer for his Gold Coast home.
As minister for human services Robert also said: “The Government says to those: you are not just cheating and stealing from the Government; you are stealing from your neighbour; you are stealing from those genuinely in need. So today the Government announced the establishment of Taskforce Integrity, which will ensure taxpayer’s money only goes to those who genuinely need a helping hand.”
According to an investigation by Independent Australia, Robert’s residential internet costs that he claimed from December 11, 2008 to 30 June 30, 2018 were $62,814.52.
IA noted that while the costs were consistently high, “there was a noticeable and significant spike in Robert’s residential internet expenses in 2016”. This spike prompted speculation about the reason for his high residential internet costs when reported in mainstream media earlier this month.
Around the same time, coincidentally, the church where Robert and his family worship, METRO Pentecostal Church on the Gold Coast, launched their Christian TV streaming service. Robert’s wife, Chantelle, is the People’s Pastor at this church; she and Robert were advertising that in 2019 they were hosting a trip to Israel at the cost of $5,600 per person.