Former New South Wales premier Mike Baird will have to live without the luxury of a politician’s pension after retiring from politics last week.
The 2004 changes to the rules around the generous scheme mean Baird will have to make do like the rest of us and rely on his salary and superannuation in his old age.
Of course, unlike most of us, Baird is likely to be raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars at whatever job he picks up next thanks to his credentials and past experience as a high flying financier.
The news that Baird will be relying on the system and his own work ethic to go out there and make a buck has been met with approval by many who say politicians have been getting it too good for too long.
Past pollies, like Bronwyn Bishop and Barry O’Farrell, retired on upwards of $150,000 a year for the rest of their lives – even if they never put in another day’s work.
It’s drawn the ire of many voters who say they’re sick to their stomachs that thousands of seniors are doing it tough after a lifetime of paying taxes while retired politicians rake in the cash.
The changes brought in in 2004 mean that only politicians elected before then are eligible for the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme, which costs taxpayers around $40 million a year.
There have been joking suggestions in the past our politicians should have to try surviving on the regular pension instead and see how they handle themselves there, with many saying they wouldn’t last a day.
But is the fact that Mike Baird will have to take care of himself without taxpayers’ help a step in the right direction?