Australia's politicians set for $4500 pay rise
AUSTRALIA'S federal politicians are set to enjoy a 2.4% pay rise within a month, meaning their annual salaries will have jumped by almost $55,000 in less than 18 months.
And believe it or not, there is a chance there could be more to come later this year.
The pay rise, announced by the Remuneration Tribunal on Thursday, also applies to senior commonwealth public servants.
From July 1, a backbencher will receive an annual salary of $195,123 - not including other entitlements - an increase of more than $4500 per year.
Federal politicians received two pay rises last year totalling almost $50,000 - one of $44,000 in March and $5500 (3%) three months later.
The latest decision comes just a week after the country's lowest paid workers were granted a 2.6% boost - a rise of $15.80 a week to $622.
It will push the annual salary of the prime minister up $11,890 to $507,320, meaning Julia Gillard will receive almost $230 extra in her weekly pay packet.
The opposition leader will get almost $8500 extra annually, taking the salary for the role up to almost $361,000.
In a statement outlining reasons for its decision, the Remuneration Tribunal said while there would have been a case for a rise of more than 3%, it had taken a "conservative and incremental approach" because of uncertainty surrounding the economy and a "slowing in wage movements".
But the tribunal said it would make a "further assessment of the situation in December".
"If the tribunal decides that a further general increase is required before July 1 2014, it will make an appropriate determination," the statement read.
Just as it had when it awarded the $44,000 increase, which contained trade-offs in terms of travel and entitlements for retired politicians, the tribunal said in its latest decision it was important pay levels were maintained at a "appropriate levels over the longer term to attract and retain people of the calibre required for these important high level offices".
This, the statement read, would remove the need for "significant one-off increases".
Australian Workplace Minister Bill Shorten said he was not aware of the pay rise when asked by reporters on Thursday.
Mr Shorten and other Cabinet ministers will receive almost $7900 extra per year for a total salary of $336,587.
- WHAT IT MEANS
- Backbencher: up $4573 to $195,123
- Prime Minister: up $11,890 to $507,320
- Opposition Leader: up $8460 to $360,977
- Cabinet ministers: up $7889 to $336,587
- Other ministers: up $7202 to $307,318
- Shadow ministers: up as much as $5715 to $243,903
- Speaker and Senate President: up $8003 to $341,465
- Parliamentary secretaries: up $5715 to $243,903