The top executives in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office enjoyed pay rises of up to 13 per cent a year between 2014 and 2016. In the same period, the basic Age Pension payment for a single person went up by less than 4 per cent.
Aussie workers, meanwhile, have seen their wages increase by an even more meagre figure of just over 2 per cent in the same period.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the pay of senior executives in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet had seen their wages increase from $296,000 to $335,000 (up 13 per cent) and from $316,490 to $349,841 (up 10 per cent) in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years, while the top bosses in the department were paid more than $800,000 a year.
The newspaper obtained the numbers via a Freedom of Information request to the department.
Meanwhile, the standard rate of pension for a single person increased from $19,916 in March 2014 to $20,337 in March 2015, and to $20,664 in March the following year – a total increase of 3.75 per cent.
Workers are currently doing it even tougher, with wage growth slowing to 1.9 per cent in the June quarter 2017 compared to the same quarter in the previous year- its lowest level in at least two decades, after running at about 2 percent in previous quarters. The increase barely covered the cost of living, with the consumer price index also up 1.9 percent in the 12 months to the end of the June quarter of 2017.
Top Canberra bureaucrats had their pay frozen by then-treasurer Joe Hokey in May 2014, but the freeze ended in February 2016, when some got pay rises of more than $60,000 a year, the Canberra Times reported at the time.