Question of pay rise for councillors hanging on MPs' review

THE State Government's decision to set up a tribunal to determine State MP's pay seems certain to further delay a resolution on councillors' salaries.

Premier Campbell Newman said the Independent Remuneration Tribunal's recommendations would be presented to the Government by mid-October.

City councillors' pay was raised last week after Queensland's Members of Parliament agreed to accept a controversial 41% pay rise.

The Local Government Remuneration and Discipline Tribunal sets salaries for councillors in Queensland except Brisbane based on a figure derived from MP's pay.

The Tribunal met before the Premier's announcement to consider the possible increases in MP's salary level and the implications of that for the remuneration levels of local government councillors.

A spokesman said Tribunal members noted the 41% increase to MPs' salaries was as a consequence of an increase in the salary levels of Federal MPs from July 1, 2012, as well as a 2.4% increase from July 1 this year.

"However, the Tribunal members also noted that the 2012 increase to MPs included an unquantified component to compensate them for the loss of certain allowances which they had previously been entitled to," the spokesman said.

The Tribunal also noted the Government's review of allowances to MPs with a view to discontinuing them because they have become part of MPs' salary.

"Noting that the Tribunal is precluded from including in its remuneration decisions any amount to compensate councillors for matters such as reimbursement for expenses of office and other allowances, the Tribunal members have decided to seek further clarification from the Government about how much of the 41.9% increase involves salary and how much might relate to the rolling up of expenses," the spokesman said.

The Tribunal would then be in a better position to release a remuneration schedule which would reflect the actual increase to salary levels of MPs.



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