How can Clive Palmer continue to sit in Parliament while the workers he made redundant are being denied their entitlements? The answer is simple: He can’t.

Ever since he rode a wave of disenchantment with the Big Two political parties all the way to a seat in the Australian Parliament, Clive Palmer has made an art out of dodging the hard questions about his business interests. Don’t look at me, he always seems to be saying — look at what the Liberal and Labor parties are doing!

This time, everybody is looking at Clive. All eyes are on the mining magnate, and he won’t be able to distract us with another rant about one of his wacky conspiracy theories this time.

Palmer’s failed business, Queensland Nickel, has entered voluntary administration just days after 240 workers were made redundant and forced to join a list of unsecured creditors to pursue their entitlements.

Palmer somehow doesn’t have the cash to pay them what they’re owed, despite his own considerable net worth and despite Queensland Nickel donating more than $21 million to the Palmer United Party (PUP) in the last two and a half years.

He doesn’t have the money, despite a Queensland Nickel donation of $288,516 to PUP lodged with the electoral commission on December 31 — just two weeks before the company went into voluntary administration and made hundreds of workers redundant, and after Queensland Nickel first sought government bailouts.

Palmer can argue until he’s blue in the face that the earlier donations were ethical, that he was simply redirecting his dividend that would otherwise have gone into his personal bank account. But it’s that $288,516 donation, less than one month ago, that will put the sword to Palmer’s political ambitions.

Former PUP Senator Glenn Lazarus has called for Palmer to tap into his personal wealth to make sure workers are paid, and told ABC Radio on Tuesday that Palmer “may have been able to save their jobs” by offloading his other business interests and assets.

Naturally, Palmer responded to Lazarus with his usual obfuscation tactics.

Palmer also released a statement claiming that Lazarus was the main beneficiary of PUP’s extravagant 2013 election campaign, and said Lazarus “refuses to pay back the money spent in order to get him elected”.

That’s between Palmer and Lazarus, but the hypocrisy here is outstanding — and if he really believes voters are going to focus their ire on Lazarus, rather than his own irresponsible decisions, he’s kidding himself.

It doesn’t take a wizard to prognosticate that Palmer is doomed at the next election, but one has come forward anyway. Antony Green, the ABC’s electoral oracle, has virtually closed the door on the political future of Palmer and PUP this week.

“Clive Palmer only just managed to win the Fairfax seat at the last election and that was after an extended recount,” Green said.

“Given the decline of the party, I’d be surprised… if he even recontested the seat and if he did so, he would have a really tough job of trying to win.”

It seems Palmer has two choices here — pay the workers what they’re owed, or resign from Parliament and fade away from the public eye.

Of course, if he wants to do the right thing, there’s only one course of action.

Pay up, Clive.

Do you think that Clive Palmer should dip into his own pocket to pay Queensland Nickel workers what they’re owed, or do you think it’s not his problem? Have your say in the comments below!