Tomorrow’s federal budget announcement has most of us bracing for the worst, but should these MPs be worried?
The Government is expected to take a gloves-off approach to its first budget; frontloading it with unpopular decisions – including the much-discussed debt levy, fuel excise, Medicare co-payment, increase in retirement age, and slashing of public service jobs – in the hope that voters will have forgiven and forgotten by the next election.
In a show of solidarity with voters doing it tough, Joe Hockey has said politicians and senior public servants will have their pay frozen, turning their backs on an expected 2.4 per cent pay increase.
So how much do our MPs make now, and how much do they actually stand to lose?
Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who earns an annual salary of $507,338, is leaving $12,176 on the table.
The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, takes home $440,016 a year; he’s missing out on an additional $10,656.
The other cabinet ministers – including Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, the other man in the infamous picture of Joe Hockey smoking a cigar outside Parliament House; investment-banker-turned-MP Malcolm Turnbull; and Julie Bishop, Eric Abetz, George Brandis, Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, Nigel Scullion, Ian Macfarlane, Kevin Andrews, Peter Dutton, Bruce Billson, Andrew Robb, David Johnston, Greg Hunt and Scott Morrison – also earn $336,599, and will also be denied an $8,078 windfall.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who says he’s “up for a politicians pay freeze”, is paid $360,990 a year, and won’t be cashing an $8,666 pay rise. His shadow ministers are paid $243,912 a year, and shouldn’t be holding their breaths for a $5,853 increase.
Bronwyn Bishop – the Speaker of the House of Representatives, charged with keeping this unruly mob in check – is paid $341,477 a year for her troubles, and won’t be adding a further $8,203 to her wage.
Clive Palmer – our wealthiest parliamentarian, and one of Australia’s 50 richest people, with an estimated net worth of $632,000,000 – is paid the base salary of $195,130 for representing the people of Fairfax, and will have to make do without an additional $4,683.
Do you think our MPs are making a big enough sacrifice, or do they need to do more? Are they paid too much already, or do they earn their money? Have your say below.