Pollies’ pay rise towers over gain for workers

Premier Morris Iemma is refusing to cap salary increases for MPs, despite limiting pay increases for public sector workers in the budget.

NSW MPs will receive a 6.7per cent increase, while rail workers, nurses, teachers and public servants will receive 2.5per cent.

The other day the news was Federal MPs getting thumping great pay rises. Both parties do, naturally. It was followed by costs released for travel by former MPs, which were also far above that of the ordinary Australian (who would have to pay for theirs, anyway). I suggested that in the simplest terms Howard should take the blame, because his party is in charge. But ‘money-grubbing politicians’ has a lot of buck-shot in it, so to speak.

It would appear Labor Premier Morris Iemma (if you follow that link, can you explain to me why his Parliamentary Activity is listed in such a bizarre fashion?) has decided to do bugger-all to help out his party at the federal level by reminding every New South Welshman that Labor is at least as greedy – perhaps worse, in fact, because the Federal MPs just fattened their own pay-packets. Iemma’s government did it at the same that they were limiting pay increases for public servants.

They also did it at the same time that (also Labor) Premier of Victoria Steve Bracks did the opposite: Victoria’s state MPs are getting the standard 2.5%. Which rather puts, on balance, Labor on the off-side of the greedy politicians ledger (although to be fair, after 12 years of Labor government in NSW there isn’t much we do expect of our state legislature anymore). That could also be my own state-based parochialism in suggesting the actions of Iemma carry more weight than those of Bracks. I think, though, that between politics and the media, Iemma’s decision is going to be seen as Business As Usual, not that taken by Bracks.

John Howard will be pleased as punch. I should be very surprised indeed if this doesn’t go in as evidence to prove his claim that a federal Labor government would leave wall-to-wall Labor governments and subsequent economy-bollocksing-up. NSW voters would certainly believe it. More on that in a second…

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