Why are we paying for Perth councillors to get a regular cut and blow dry, a tuxedo or a ball gown?

Hangers with clothes
Hangers with clothes

Opinion

I DON’T think I have spent more than $13,000 on clothes in my entire adult life.

I have never owned a suit, or more than three pairs of shoes at one time, and I wait until my hair is almost shoulder length before getting it cut.

But up until last night, City of Perth councillors were able to claim back clothing related expenses, including dry cleaning and haircuts, up to $13,360 per financial year.

An attempt to scrap it altogether was unsuccessful and it is now capped at $3000, a huge decrease.

A report revealed the claims were rarely above $6000, but that still sounds excessive.

To be fair, Perth councillors attend more functions and events than me and meet more international dignitaries more than me.

But pampering to the tune of $13,000 each would put a Hollywood film set hair and makeup budget to shame.

Read more: City of Perth councillors vote against plans to scrap clothing allowance, instead capping it to $3k

People are becoming more aware of what councils are spending our ratepayer money on and this figure is likely to enrage.

Why are we paying for councillors to get a regular cut and blow dry, a tuxedo or a ball gown?

They are supposed to represent our best interest, not stock their wardrobes.

Councillor James Limnios made an excellent point during discussions last night – councillors are expected to be at their best and most presentable when shaking hands with the Russian or American ambassador and some councillors simply can’t afford elegant clothes for each occasion.

And without a level playing field, there is the potential that people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, students or single parents may be dissuaded from running for council, reducing the diversity in decision making.