Sunday, 12 March 2017
Next time a member of the Turnbull Government asks you, your family or community to tighten belts for the good of the country remember this......
Those people elected to govern the country and who decide national economic and social policies (which can make or break ordinary individuals and families) enter into to a class of salary earners whose members enjoy an above average lifestyle whilst in 'employment'.
A financial outcome which tends to cushion them from the harshest economic facts of life.
In 1901 the average annual wage of a person living in Australia was £46 [Australian Bureau of Statistics A Snapshot of Australia, 1901]. That represented less than £1 per week.
The Australian Parliament was established by the UK Australian Constitution Act 1900. Section 48 of the Constitution determined that all members of the Parliament would receive an ‘allowance’ of 400 pounds per annum, until the Parliament decided otherwise [Remuneration Tribunal, A Brief History Of Parliamentary Remuneration, 2012]. This averaged out at over £7 per week.
In December 2016 the average annual full-time adult wage/salary of an individual was est. $79,721 or $1,533 per week before tax and in an employment field of 12.06 million workers only 8.30 million had full-time jobs.
While in that same year a member of federal parliament’s base annual pay was $199,040 plus allowances & entitlements or est. $3,827.69 take home pay each week for each of the 224 federal parliamentarians – more if the member sits on a committee/s, is a parliamentary secretary, assistant minister, minister or one of a smaller number of shadow ministers. Plus a generous electoral allowance and free travel, as well as both a subsidised car and subsidised away from home accommodation & food
Parliamentarians’ base salaries have increased 19 times in the last 20 years. Can the average worker say that about his or her hourly rate?
Remember this the next time the Turnbull Government asks you, your family or community to tighten belts for the good of the country. Just as importantly remember this when you vote in 2018-19.