Politicians headed to court to try to get even bigger pensions 49



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While the majority of Australia’s pensioners struggle to make ends meet, a small group of retired politicians are heading to the hight court to try to squeeze even more money out of taxpayers for their own benefit.

Four former federal MPs – Labor’s Barry Cunningham, Tony Lamb and Barry Cohen, and Liberal John Moore – are arguing that they deserve more than the $80,000 to $118,000 a year they already receive as part of their pension entitlements.

The federal government is working to have the case thrown out, but it looks like the four pollies could win the case and add millions of dollars to the $40 million pension bill taxpayers already fork out for every year.

Mr Cunningham, Mr Lamb, Mr Cohen and Mr Moore already receive up to $118,000 a year, plus 10 free business-class return flights and a bevy of other benefits.

However, they say their allowance should be based on the current salary of backbench MPs, which is around $199,000 a year.

As it stands, their allowances are based on the old salary of $154,000 a year.

If they win their case, 350 former politicians and 100 spouses could jump on board the verdict and claim the same amount for themselves.

After the July 2 election, there will be another 20 politicians benefiting from the scheme, including Bronwyn Bishop who is expected to receive a whopping $255,000 every year for the rest of her life.

The topic of politicians’ entitlements and the pension scheme has been in the spotlight recently with people calling for many of the benefits to be scrapped.

It was revealed earlier this year that a number of pollies had been using their travel allowance to pay off their mortgages on their houses in Canberra – which they are legally allowed to do under the scheme – while most Australians are struggling to even get into the housing market.

More than 177,000 Australians have signed an online petition calling for the pension plan and benefits to be scrapped altogether, with many people furious that Mr Cunningham, Mr Lamb, Mr Cohen and Mr Moore are trying to get even more money into their pockets.

What do you think about this news? Do you think politicians should have to survive on the same pension rate as everyone else? Or, do they deserve a bigger pension for their contribution to the country?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Pigs with their snouts in the public trough.

    1 REPLY
    • Whole heartily agree, Pigs with snouts in troughs! Let them live like the rest of us…scratting every week to make ends meet. These self serving Bastards WORK FOR US. Grovel like the rest of us do to your employer to get a meagre pay increase which they argue we shouldn’t have. I don’t earn a quarter of what they get when they give up politics.I’m Sick of em. and you know what? their all in it for them selves, not the people they are meant to be serving!

  2. Talk about being greedy! They should have the whole pension taken from them for not appreciating what they have already got. Regarding the other perks retired polies receive, i think they get way to much now and the free travel should be stopped particularly if they are receiving such high pensions.

    1 REPLY
    • Hey Brian,see above comment in reply to Rob.

  3. Stop voting for pigs and a……les! Problem solved!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Pollies should get less and not be able to get the pension till at least 65 or with the changing social security pension up to 67 depending on your age. None of our benefits are portable and we get no perks. If you can’t live with what you get now, learn to budget! Talk about nose in the trough. No job and income for life for any of us.

    1 REPLY
    • Since 2004m they have not been entitled to get a pension until retirement age of 65.

  5. Their contribution to the country???What was that … to sit on a parliamentary bench and throw insults at other people… to do a Bronwyn Bishop and try to rort the people whom they are meant to represent…..to shout out I will represent the people( until I get elected then i will forget why I am in politics as long as i can line my pockets…..)Those that have contributed to the country…the diggers,nurses,animals that have served to defend this country…yet they have to struggle to just survive…the farmers who have been put on the back burner for so long…the doctors,nurses,the ordinary joe on the street who in their normal working day do just as much if not more to contribute to the country.These people who are trying for more should hang their greedy heads in shame….Try living a month as a normal pensioner does…

    3 REPLY
    • Oh dear, poor poor politicians.how can they live on 118.000 dollars a year.and free air fairs????????? And they can earn more if they take a job without it effecting their pensions!!!!!!!!!!!
      My heart bleeds for them. Please every one try to shame them. Now there is a thought how do we shame people like them.

    • They call it a pension. More like an additional wage regardless of what else they earn. Nothing but greed.

  6. My God, self serving thieves all. They need more money.?…try existing on old age pension. .l hope for once the high court is fair and throws the case out, or is their pension linked in anyway?

    1 REPLY
    • Agree. they do not have to live in the real world.

  7. sign the petition we need some more people to get on board

  8. If everybody is only allowed to have an old age pension level for superannuation, then the call made may have some validity. Each person has a superannuation pension which reflects the money contributed while working whether as a politician or at any other occupation.
    These politicians were part of a scheme which set the pension they were entitled to receive. Not based on current salary levels. They took their superannuation pension at a certain level and should now be stuck with it.
    If you do not like living on the current level, then go back to work.

  9. Once again our politicians show their true colours. “I entered politics so that I could make life better for All Australians.” Really means (“I entered politics so that I could fill my back pocket with taxpayers cash and forget all about the people who put me here who I promised to do so much for. Sorry my life needs are greater than you, the taxpayer, who actually pays my wage.”

    Let’s get real we, the taxpayers, are your employers and pay your wages while you are in parliament, and if you made these ridiculous monetry claims as a member of the general public you would be laughed out of court. Remember this – deliver what you promise, keep the books balanced, and look after your constituents, or you will soon be out of politics all together and, if we had our way, stop being paid from the public purse.

  10. Nothing but cynical idiots the lot of them, who care about nothing and no-body but themselves. It always has been so and I guess it always will be!

  11. All things being equal, they were part of the workforce, the same as the rest of us, and there is no employment in this country that I can think of, that continues to pay long after you have ceased employment, over the years this sense of entitlement has escalated to ridiculous levels and it is time for a reality check, these people are becoming no more than “welfare Bludgers” and wanting higher benefits because the current politician pay is now higher, defies all logic, I’m sure if I fronted up at my former place of employment and demanded back pay because current employees now get $20 an hour more than I did 10 years ago, I would be shown the door quick smart

    1 REPLY
    • Well said. After working and volunteering for more that fifty years. I would not except or receive any payments from past employers, Why should these greedy pollies.

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