It’s no secret that Australia’s politicians earn a pretty penny during their time in Canberra, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull even being named the highest earning pollie of all 26 countries in the OECD.
Turnbull pockets an eye-watering $527,852-a-year for running the country, however it’s not his only income as the PM is actually a self-made millionaire and it was recently revealed that he donated his entire parliamentary salary to charity.
Liberal MP Scott Morrison is another high earner, raking in a whopping $380,662 for his role as Treasurer according to public records, while opposition boss Bill Shorten takes home $375,587 in his position as leader of the Australian Labor Party.
However many people believe that Aussie politicians are grossly overpaid, with many Starts at 60 readers suggesting that Mal and co should earn far less than the likes of doctors, nurses and paramedics who provide, quite literally, a life-saving service.
“Ambulance, emergency services, police and nurses should all be paid like or more than our politicians. End of story,” reader Jackie Vero said. “They do more for us and deserve better.”
Kevin Hendry wrote: “Our pay scales are back to front, health and education should be at the top of the scale, politicians at the bottom.”
While Dulcie Hodder said: “Nurses, ambos, firies, cops, none are paid enough for what they endure. We are so backward… give, give, give to those who don’t need or deserve it & bugger the rest. Love all our helpers.” (sic)
The average nurse in Australia earns just $65,000 per annum, and former Labor minister Graham ‘Richo’ Richardson recently called for nurses’ wages to be increased, after he was admitted to hospital suffering from exhaustion.
“In the early 1980s when the surgeons strike was in full flight, I remember telling Neville Wran and Bob Hawke that you can’t run hospitals without doctors,” he wrote in The Australian. “I was only half-right: you can’t run hospitals without nurses, either. They never seem to go on strike and yet whatever as a society we are paying them is not enough.”
Paramedics in Australia earn, on average, $77,936 while fire fighters take home a salary of around $62,380 according to Indeed. Teachers earn a similar figure, with the national average being around $65,371, with those teaching in Tasmania actually earning closer to $50,000.
The average salary for a Cabinet Minister is set at $350,209, as decided by the Independent Parliamentary Renumeration Tribunal, compared to $203,020. While Deputy Leader of the Labor party Tanya Plibersek earns $319,756, and Greens leader Richard Di Natale takes home $289,303.