ASIC to split the bill with the public for its $30k Christmas function

This year’s Christmas celebrations for staff at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) have irked a taxpayer interest group, who claim it is taxpayers who will be footing the $30,000 bill.

The end of year festivities are booked for Hilton Sydney, and include a two-course lunch and a basic drinks package with a bill of up to $36,350.

An ASIC spokeswoman said the taxpayers will fork out $60 per head, with staff dipping into their own pockets to settle the $95 per head bill.

The news was greeted with anger by the Taxpayer’s Alliance, who claimed the public body was out-of-touch with the general public.

“(Paying) $30,000 on a swanky office party at a time when politicians are constantly telling us to tighten our belts is unconscionable,” policy director Satya Marar told the Daily Telegraph.

“Our public debt continues to climb and that is money our children and grandchildren will have to pay for, this sort of ostentatious celebration by a government agency bankrolled by taxpayers is completely out of touch.”

The bill for corporate watchdog’s Christmas parties have been going up every year, and are nearly double the amount they spent nine years ago.