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Today's quote:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Do something!!!


As a self-funded retiree, I’m frustrated with Canberra’s continuous fiddle with superannuation. So here's fair warning to all politicians of any persuasion that this group of aged voters may be about to make the greatest impact on any Federal election in history. Ignoring them may be the start of a changed political environment in this country.

I absolutely agree that if a pension isn't an entitlement then neither is theirs. They keep telling us that paying us an aged pension isn't sustainable. Paying politicians all the perks they get is even less sustainable! The politicians themselves brought it up, saying that the Age of Entitlements is over.

The author, Dr. Dale Kerwin of the School of Education on the Mt. Gravatt Campus of Grifffith University, is asking each of us to forward this message to a minimum of twenty people on our address list; in turn, ask each of those to do likewise. In a few days, most people in Australia will have this message. This is one idea that really should be passed around because the rot has to stop somewhere.

Here are the proposals to make politicians shoulder their share of the weight now that the Age of Entitlement is over:

1. Scrap political pensions.
Politicians can purchase their own retirement plan, just as most other working Australians are expected to do. Read more here.

2. Retired politicians (past, present & future) participate in Centrelink.
A Politician collects a substantial salary while in office but should receive no salary when they're out of office. Terminated politicians under 70 can go get a job or apply for Centrelink unemployment benefits like ordinary Australians. Terminated politicians under 70 can negotiate with Centrelink like the rest of the Australian people.

3. Funds already allocated to the Politicians' retirement fund be returned immediately to Consolidated Revenue.
This money is to be used to pay down debt they created which they expect us and our grandchildren to repay for them.

4. Politicians will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
Politicians pay will rise by the lower of, either the CPI or 3%.

5. Politicians lose their privileged health care system and participate in the same health care system as ordinary Australian people.
Politicians either pay for private cover from their own funds or accept ordinary Medicare.

6. Politicians must equally abide by all laws they impose on the Australian people.

7. All contracts with past and present Politicians men/women are void effective 31/12/16.

The Australian people did not agree to provide perks to Politicians; that burden was thrust upon them. Politicians devised all these contracts to benefit themselves. Serving in Parliament is an honour not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so our politicians should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX Parliament and help bring fairness back into this country!

If you wonder why this needs a concerted initiative by all citizens, look at the figures below:

STATUTORY OFFICES, Date of Effect 1 July 2014, Base Salary (per annum), Total Remuneration for office (per annum)

Chief of the Defence Force > $535,100 - $764,420

Commissioner of Taxation > $518,000 - $740,000

Chief Executive Officer, Australian Customs and Border Protection Service > $483,840 - $691,200

Auditor-General for Australia > $469,150 - $670,210

Australian Statistician > $469,150 - $670,210

Salaries of retired Prime Minister and Politicians, Office, Additional salary (%), Salary as of 1 July

Prime Minister, 160, $507,338

Deputy Prime Minister, 105, $400,016

Treasurer, 87.5, $365,868

Leader of the Opposition, 85.0, $360,990

House of Reps Speaker, 75.0, $341,477

Leader of the House, 75.0, $341,477

Minister in Cabinet, 72.5, $336,599

Parliamentary Secretary, 25.0, $243,912

Other Ministers, 57.5, $307,329

Shadow Ministers, 25.0, $243,912

Source: Remuneration Tribunal

So if I pressed all the right buttons, the TOTAL annual wages for the 150 seats in the Parliament are:

Prime Minister $507,338

Deputy Prime Minister $400,016

Treasurer $365,868

Leader of the Opposition $360,990

House of Reps Speaker $341,477

Leader of the House $341,477

Minister in Cabinet $336,599

Parliamentary secretary $243,912

Other Ministers* 307,329 x 71 = $21,820,359

Shadow Ministers* $243,912 x 71 = $17,317,752

The TOTAL ANNUAL SALARIES (for 150 seats) = $41,694,311 - PER YEAR! And that’s just the Federal Politicians, no one else!

For the ‘lifetime’ payment example (below) I used the scenario that:
1. They are paid ‘lifetime’ salaries the same as their last working year
2. After retiring, the ’average’ pollie’s life expectancy is an additional 20 years (which is not unreasonable)
It’s worth remembering that this is EXCLUDING all their other perks! - see here.

So, for a 20-year ‘lifetime’ payment (excluding wages paid while a Parliamentarian), here are some staggering figures:

Prime Minister @ $507,338 = $10,146,760

Deputy Prime Minister @ $400,016 = $8,000,320

Treasurer @ $365,868 = $7,317,360

Leader of the Opposition @ $360,990 = $7,219,800

House of Reps Speaker @ $341,477 = $6,829,540

Leader of the House @ $341,477 = $6,829,540

Minister in Cabinet @ $336,599 = $6,731,980

Parliamentary Secretary @ $243,912 = $4,782,240

Other Ministers** @ $307,329 = A$6,146,580 x 71 = $436,407,180

Shadow ministers** @ $243,912 = A$4,878,240 x 71 = $346,355,040

Conclusions: TOTAL ‘life time’ (20 year) payments, (excluding wages paid while in parliament) = $833,886,220 – OVER $833 MILLION

Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd, John Howard, Paul Keating, Malcolm Fraser, Bob Hawke, et al, add nauseum, are receiving $10 MILLION + EXTRA at taxpayer expense.

Should an elected PM serve 4 years and then decide to retire, each year (of the 4 years) will have cost taxpayers an EXTRA Two and a half million bucks a year! A$2,536,690 to be precise.

A 2-year retirement payment cut-off will SAVE our budget bottom line $792,201,909 *** NEARLY $800 MILLION.

There are 150 seats in House, minus the 8 above = 142 seats, divided equally for example = 71 each for both shadow and elected ministers.

This example excludes all wages paid while a parliamentarian AND all perks on top of that - travel, hotels, Secretarial staff, speech writers, restaurants, offices, chauffeured limos, security, etc. etc.

150 seats, 20-year payment of $833,886,220 less annual salary x 2 years of $83,388,622. [$41,694,311 x 2]


ACTION: Push for a MAXIMUM 2-year post-retirement payment (give ‘em time to get a real job).

Spread it far and wide folks. People should know.

Dr. Dale Kerwin
School of Education
MT Gravatt Campus
Grifffith University
ph. 07 3735 5884
fax. 07 3735 5991
email: d.kerwin@griffith.edu.au

Below are the email addresses of all our Senators and Members of Parliament. I have sent most of them an email suggesting that they start making some changes to their gilt-edged remuneration packages in line with voters' expectations. So far all I've received are computer-generated "Thank you for your email, We appreciate the time you have taking to contact us" replies.

Why don't you send them an email and see if you have more luck?

Click here to open List of Senators in separate window

Click here to open List of MPs in separate window

Get to it! It's called Democracy in Action!

P.S. If you want to know how the system works, read George Orwell's "Animal Farm". Here is an animated version which has a happy ending. The book and real life is far more depressing:

To read the book, click here.