If you’re sick of struggling to pay bills, save cash or afford the cost of living these days, here’s an idea: become a politician.
While most of the country is experiencing record low wage growth, Australia’s politicians are about to be awarded another pay rise, reports The Australian.
Federal politicians, judges and public servants will be awarded up to $12,000 a year more, pushing backbench MPs’ base pay above $200,000 for the first time.
The Remuneration Tribunal granted all senior public office holders the 2 per cent pay rise in a bid to “attract and retain” people of “calibre” in government.
The top up means backbenchers salary will increase by just under $4000 to $203,020.
Meanwhile, prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will enjoy an extra $10,350, taking his annual salary to $527,854.
Turnbull downplayed the pay rise in an interview with 2GB’s Chris Smith this morning.
“It’s a decision by the Remuneration Tribunal and there is never a good time to increase the pay of politicians, but the alternative to having an independent tribunal set the politicians pay is to have the politicians setting it themselves and no-one would want that,” he said.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten is set to see a jump from a base salary of $368,224 to $375,558.
While many are no doubt chuffed with the pay rise, some MPs say they don’t think it’s necessary.
News Corp reports that Liberal Democrats senator David Leyonhjelm said: “I think we are already very well paid and don’t need a pay increase at the moment. Given the state of the budget in particular, it’s ill-timed.”
Greens leader Richard Di Natale said “people have had a gutful”. “At a time when income inequality is out of control and wages are going nowhere, politicians get a pay rise,” he said.
However, neither indicated whether or not they would refuse to take the pay rise.