They’re known for their outspoken ways and opposing views, but senators Pauline Hanson and Derryn Hinch launched into one of their most furious rows yet on air on Monday in a debate over politicians’ pensions and wage increases.
The pair were invited on to Seven’s Sunrise programme to discuss the leadership spill and the upcoming election, sparking a strong accusation from Hanson about Julie Bishop’s recent decision to resign.
The One Nation leader claimed any politician in the governing party who resigns before an election is entitled to a bigger pay out than if their party lost the election and they left afterwards. This is because, for all politicians elected prior to 2004, their pension is calculated on their average wage over the past three years. Therefore, Liberal politicians who resign before the Federal election will have a higher pension rate than if they lose at the next election and resign later on an Opposition wage, which is lower than those in the governing party. It means, Hanson claimed, that Bishop would have lost $70,000 if Labor had won the upcoming vote and she’d resigned after it.
Referring to Bishop’s claim in the WA’s The Sunday Times at the weekend that she could have beaten Bill Shorten if she’d become prime minister in the leadership spill, Hanson said: “She [Bishop] didn’t have the support from her colleagues, she only got 11 votes, she had no support from the colleagues in Western Australia at all, and I think that’s a statement she’s making on her way out when she’s collecting her huge pay out of over $200,000 a year.
“She’s getting out now because [if] they end up in Opposition, it goes on the previous three years wages – which she’ll lose about $70,000 a year.”
She added: “They’re parasites as far as I’m concerned. This is why the people are so fed up with the politicians … they see them as parasites.”
Federal Politician's Pay: "I gave my pay increase to a charity" – Senator @PaulineHansonOz. "Anybody elected, like me, after 2004 gets no pension at all…not one dollar, you will not get a pension" – Senator @HumanHeadline. #auspol #7News pic.twitter.com/WC27FnszmQ
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) March 3, 2019
Hanson went on to refer to a past motion in Parliament to freeze pollies’ wages – which she claimed saw all the major parties, including Derryn Hinch, vote against it.
“They voted against it because they want their pay increases, and I gave mine to a charity,” she insisted.
As she called for a new bill to freeze these pay outs, Hinch said: “Anyone elected after 2004, like her like me, there’s no pension at all, not one dollar, you will not get a pension … yes it’s true about what Julie Bishop will get, they get 60 per cent of the last three years’ average.”
As Kochie quizzed Hinch about Hanson’s claim that he was one of the ones to support the pollies’ pay increases, he replied: “The thing is we don’t have any say on the pay increases, it’s independent tribunal that does it.”
However, he was immediately cut off by Hanson who shouted over him: “Oh rubbish Derryn, what a load of rubbish.”
Hinch insisted while Hanson gives her extra wages to charity, he gives any proceeds he gets from writing articles or other work like that he gives to Wintringham, a specialised welfare company providing housing and care to elderly men and women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Hanson then paused for a moment, before she went on: “The fact is I’ve got pensioners who can’t pay their bills and we, as politicians, are getting a $4,000 a year pay increase … you’re right, we don’t have the pay out pension for life, we don’t have that, but when politicians are on 15 per cent superannuation and the average [person] out there is on 9.5 per cent, it is wrong Derryn, it is wrong.”
Attempting to speak over her, Hinch eventually replied: “Pauline you have made a career over 20 years of making millions of dollars out of your 4 per cent pay out by the government.”
Clearly furious by his statement, Hanson began pointing her finger and shouted: “Derryn you better watch what you say here because I am sick and tired of these lies that are going on about it … I’ve worked my guts off to get back on the floor of Parliament, fighting for the people of Australia … you better come up with the facts because I’m sick and tired of these lies.”
The pair continued to shout over each other from there, before Hinch branded his competitor a “failed candidate” as Hanson hit back: “Rubbish, Derryn, I’ve done more for the country in the last two and a half years than what you’ve done … you’ve sat there and done absolutely nothing, I’m hearing that from the people in Melbourne, because they think you’re being absolutely useless.
“All you want is your face in a mugshot in the papers and on TV, what have you done?”
Appearing just as angry at that point, Hinch hit back insisting he introduced the bill that stopped convicted criminals like George Pell from travelling overseas and closed the argument by saying: “Rack off Pauline, you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
The comments follow claims made by Bishop over the weekend in an exclusive interview with The Sunday Times, insisting she would have defeated Shorten in the next federal election – had her colleagues picked her to lead the Liberal Party in last year’s leadership spill.
“I was confident that I could beat Shorten,” she said, according to The West Australian. Bishop added she had felt a “responsibility” to run for the leadership position.
“And I also felt for all the women in Australia who had seen me as deputy for so long. I thought I’d be letting them down if I didn’t put my hand up,” she said.