They were appointed in the spirit of austerity to identify billions of dollars to hack from government spending.
But the Abbott government's audit commissioners have been accused of failing to walk the walk on what they are taking from the public purse.
Audit chairman Tony Shepherd has so far been paid $25,000 for the equivalent of 17 days' work.
He and his four fellow commissioners, including former Liberal senator Amanda Vanstone, are in the highest pay bracket that exists for specialist advisers to government.
At $1490, Mr Shepherd's daily pay is higher than the average weekly earnings of an ordinary full-time worker.
Commissioner Peter Boxall, a former senior public servant and one-time chief-of-staff to former treasurer Peter Costello, has received $21,000 for eight full days and six "part days".
Robert Fisher, a bureaucrat from Western Australia, has been paid $29,250 for 19.5 equivalent full days.
Ms Vanstone and fellow commissioner Tony Cole have not yet submitted a claim for payment.
Greens senator Richard di Natale, who chairs the parliamentary Select Committee into the government's Commission of Audit, accused the commissioners of "hypocrisy".
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/audit-commissioners-earn-top-dollar-for-advising-on-cuts-20140204-31yqr.html#ixzz2sKm0FgU4