Thursday 25th of April 2024

great moments of truth .....

great moments of truth .....

MPs defend 6.7% pay rise, but Greens condemn it

Surprise, surprise!!

Government & Opposition MPs are defending their 6.7% wage rise, but Greens Senator Bob Brown called on the Party leaders to refuse to accept it.

After the wage rise MPs will get an extra $150 a week, Prime Minister John Howard's salary will increase by about $21,000 to $330,000 a year, while Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd will get an extra $15,000.

Queensland Liberal MP, David Jull, a former minister, said the pay rise was justified or otherwise 'you won't attract the best brains in the country' to the job.

Jull said people would be surprised at how hard MPs worked.

'Mate, if you really went round with a member of Parliament all day every day, seven days a week & see what they do, see the hours that they work, I think you'd be very, very surprised,' he said.

Labor MP Graeme Edwards criticised the pay rise but said he would not vote against it.

Edwards, a disabled Vietnam war veteran, said it was hypocritical for politicians to get a pay rise when veterans' pensions had not been indexed.

'I think it's hard to justify a pay increase for politicians at the same time that the government refuses to even index the pensions of Australia's most deserving & disabled war veterans,' he said.

Senator Brown said Howard should take the lead on this issue, but if he refuses then Rudd should act.

'The Prime Minister ... has the easy ability here to get rid of this, (he) should stop it,' Brown told ABC TV.

'It has to be gazetted, regulated, brought before the Parliament,' he said. 'I would hope that if he doesn't that Kevin Rudd & the Labor Party will & we will get one or two decent Liberals to cross the floor in the Senate.’