AUSTRALIAN MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT GRAVY TRAIN
Australian MPs now among the highest paid in the world - News.com.au
- 3 YEARS AGO JULY 18, 2013 10:00PM
Federal backbenchers now take home $195,130. Source: Supplied
AUSTRALIAN MPs are among the best paid in the world after pocketing a hefty pay rise earlier this month, new research shows.
Federal backbenchers take home $195,130 - almost double that earned by British MP's and nearly three times the national average full-time wage.
The average AFL player, however, pulls in about $251,559.
A report tabled in the British House of Commons this week as part of a proposal to index UK MP's annual wage increases to the growth in average earnings, shows that only Italian MP's earn more than their Australian counterparts.
Federal politicians pocketed a 2.4 per cent pay rise this month turning Prime Minister Kevin Rudd into Australia's first political half-million dollar man.
This was the third pay rise for Federal MPs in the past 16 months, delivering a salary boost of $54,220 or more than $1000 a week since March last year.
This increase in MP's pay was in return for losing perks such as global study trips and the closing down of the Gold Pass for retired members.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott's salary has risen to $360,990.
This is just below the $400,000 earned by US President Barack Obama but well above UK Prime Minister David Cameron, who earns around a paltry $235,000 compared to his counterparts.
nt pay rise in parliament and is handing it out in "grants'' to help manufacturing and farming programs.
"The pay rise is more than a lot of people earn annually. If I could give the pay rise back I would, but I can't,'' he said.
"My colleagues should be ashamed for taking this pay rise. They have no empathy or compassion for people doing it tough in the community. And even worse it means state parliaments have to increase their pay levels as well."
The average full-time Australian worker earns $72,436 a year.
Monash University Political scientist Dr Nick Economou said that while the Australian MPs would seem to be getting high wages it has to be compared to what they could earn in the private sector.
"Not many politicians do it for the money and if there wasn't decent money on offer then only the wealth would get involved in politics and that would be bad for democracy," he said.
The higher wages are also compensation for what is often a tough and very volatile job, Dr Economou said.
The strength of the economy means Australian MP's pay as a ratio of national GDP is only around 3 per cent - about mid-table in global terms.
The report from the British Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority also recommends the scrapping of perks such as resettlement allowances and much tighter management of out of pocket expenses claimed for meals and drinks.
The IPSA was established in response to the British parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009.
Backbenchers receive $127,060 a year before allowances. Ministers, office holders, heads of committees receive extra salary. The Prime Minister earns $330,356, the Deputy PM earns $260,473, the Treasurer $238,237, the Opposition Leader gets $235,061. The Remuneration Tribunal has put the next pay review on hold until September 30.
Electorate allowance. $32,000 (53 MPs with larger electorates get up to $14,000 extra). To cover costs incurred performing duties as an MP such as presentations at school speech days, buying raffle tickets, gifts to sporting clubs and community groups, senior citizens awards and other donations. MPs must keep receipts and the unspent amount is treated as taxable income.
MPs who entered Parliament before the 2004 election are required to pay 11.5 per cent of their salary into superannuation for up to 18 years and pay 5.75 per cent of their salary thereafter. On retirement they benefit from a generous nest egg based on their years of service. They can receive a lump sum or annual pension. Those who became MPs after the 2001 election must wait until age 55 to get the money.
MPs who were elected from the 2004 election onwards have a less generous scheme. The Government contributes 15.4 per cent of their gross salary into a super fund elected by the MP. Their super payout is based on the performance of the fund in the same way as most workers. Salary sacrifice is allowed.
One office suite at Parliament House and an office in their electorate provided to a typical size of 175 square metres. One car space, security, signs and cleaning.
Six computers (two can be lap tops), one mobile broadband modem, two high-speed monochrome laser printers, one colour laser printer, one colour scanner, one smart label printer. 24-hour, 7 days a week IT support help desk.
Office furniture, postage meter machine, high-speed photocopier, collator, folding & envelope machine, document shredder, TV, dishwasher and office stationery.
Printing allowance of $100,000 a year for Reps, $16,667 a year for senators for personalised stationery, newsletters, certificates, fridge magnets, postal vote applications and voting information.
Communications allowance to cover postage and costs of creating and maintaining a web site. Worth $27,500 a year for senators and about $40,000 a year for lower house members (50 cents for every enrolled voter in electorate).
Also given $1800 a year worth of stamps for their office at Parliament House.
Four telephones in the office, fax and answering machine.
Taxpayer-funded phone line, fax and answering machine at home.
Two mobile phones (one can be a Blackberry). Hands-free car kit on request for their private car.
Telephone services charge card
Phone numbers called by MPs are not listed on the bills paid by taxpayers.
A Post Office box at the nearest Post Office.
1300 toll free telephone number if their electorate covers more than one STD area.
TRAVEL IN AUSTRALIA:
Flights: No limit on number of business-class commercial flights. MPs who use charter flights when there is a commercial flight available must pay the difference.
Car with driver: COMCAR at their service when they are in Canberra, interstate on official business or to travel to and from the airport in their home city.
Private-plated vehicle: Every MP given a car from a list (typically a Holden, Ford or Toyota). MPs pay $711 a year and taxpayers pay all costs, including petrol, registration and servicing. Can be used for private and family reasons and can be driven by a staff member or family member.
MPs can choose to not have a car and get an allowance of $19,500 a year to pay for public transport and taxis.
Charter flights: Depending on the size of their electorate, MPs can spend between $9450 and $79,475 a year on charter flights or cars. Can be used by the MP, spouse or staff member.
VIP flights: can be used by MPs if approved by the government.
Family Reunion Travel: To balance work and family, MPs are given an annual budget worth nine business class return trips to Canberra from their home for their spouse or nominee, which can include a nanny, and three business class return trips for each dependent child. Spouses also get three business class return interstate trips (not to Canberra).
Travel allowance: to cover cost of accommodation, meals and other expenses when away from home overnight. When in Canberra, MPs get a flat $215 a night with no requirement to produce receipts. Some MPs use it to pay for a hotel room, others use it to pay rent or put it towards the mortgage on a second property. For other towns and cities MPs get between $215 and $437.
In Sydney the rate is $324 a night, in Brisbane its $352. Ministers receive a higher allowance. Apart from Canberra, MPs get the full rate if stay in commercial accommodation and get a receipt. If they stay elsewhere they can claim one-third of the rate.
Study tour: After three years MPs get to spend the equivalent of an around-the-world first class airfare on overseas study tours. No limit on number of trips within the price range. They can downgrade to business class and take their spouse (and sometimes are then upgraded by the airline). They receive new entitlement every three years. They must lodge a written report which is tabled in Parliament.
Parliamentary delegations: MPs can also be selected by the Presiding Officers to go on overseas delegations to represent the Parliament. All costs are covered and they can take their spouse.
Official travel: Ministers, Presiding officers and Opposition leaders travel overseas on official business. Other MPs can sometimes be selected to represent them.
Travel gifts: MPs can also accept overseas travel gifts but must declare it on the register of pecuniary interests.
Average backbench MP can employ 4 full-time staff who earn between $39,635 and $67,034. Staff can also be paid an electorate allowance, travel allowance and receive economy-class airfares for official travel.
Constituent requests: MPs can give away an unlimited number of large Australian flags to eligible bodies such as schools and up to 50 large flags to private individuals. They can give away up to $900 a year worth of desktop or hand-waver flags. They must keep a list of who receives flags.
MPs also can give constituents photographs of the Queen and Prince Phillip, a CD or DVD of the national anthem, a print of the Coat of Arms and information about national symbols and awards.
MPs can have two photographic sessions a year with the official government photographer to have their portrait taken.
MPs have a small budget to buy newspapers and magazines.
MPs qualify for the Life Gold Pass of free business or first class airline travel within Australia with their spouse if they have served for 20 years as a backbencher or six years as a minister or one year as PM. Those who were ministers before 1973 need to serve only one term to qualify. Spouses of MPs who qualified before 1976 also qualify. No limits on those who qualified before 1994. Those who qualified after 1994 are restricted to 50 flights (or 25 return trips) a year.
MPs who do not qualify for the Life Gold Pass receive the severance travel package providing up to 50 flights (25 return trips a year) for between six months and five years after they have left Parliament depending on their length of time as an MP.
MPs who lose their seat get paid a resettlement allowance of 12-weeks pay for involuntary retirement.
Ex-MPs can use Commonwealth Offices in capital cities for six months following retirement.
MPs are allowed to accept gifts, such as bottles of Grange, tickets to sporting events, flight upgrades, pay TV subscription, but must declare those valued at more than $300 on the register of interests.
* can only be used for parliamentary, electorate or official business. Not for commercial purposes.
* MPs with large electorates get extra staff, extra office equipment, a 4WD with a satellite phone and emergency radio beacon, extra travel allowance and an increased charter allowance.
- compiled by Phillip Hudson
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/full-list-of-federal-mps-entitlements-20090521-bh0v.html#ixzz49CiqxGG6