Chapter 22: REFORM OF “OLD-SUPER-POLLIES” REMUNERATION IN LINE WITH COMMUNITY EXPECTATIONS.
MOTION: That the Rudd Government immediately reform the remuneration regime for all politicians elected prior to the 2004 Federal Election such that (a) their superannuation contribution would be reduced from 69% to 15% and that (b) the difference be converted to annual salary.
PM Rudd’s recent proposition that all politicians should put their salary increase demands on hold for 18 months as a sign of good faith is nothing short of disingenuous grand standing.
An 18 month salary freeze will do nothing to address the general public’s anger regarding the taxpayer funded 69% superannuation contribution that is paid into the Future Fund.
If Kevin Rudd PM actually believes that the existing system of 69% superannuation contributions for pre-2004 elected politicians is fair and equitable and should remain intact until the last such politician drops dead, then he has rocks in his head.
Any proposition that legislation should not be countenanced to retrospectively reform the terms of employment of pre-2004 elected politicians would be hypocritical in the extreme. If our major parties and their politicians can claim with impunity that an election is an exercise in democratic accountability, then their self-serving motivations have been exposed. It is not possible for politicians to argue rationally that an election is any more than an exercise in “Severely limited retrospective accountability” at best. Therefore retrospective legislation applied to politicians’ terms of employment would be consistent with their own job description whereby they have no problem with changing the terms of employment of the masses.
In addition there is the issue of politicians moonlighting that has been highlighted recently. Kevin Rudd PM has declared that he will consider banning secondary employment while supposedly serving their electorates first and foremost. Clearly, moonlighting detracts from the time and energy available to a politician to expend on his/her electorate.
Assuming that moonlighting by politicians as consultants is pure of heart, wholesome and free of corruption or potential corruption, then the conclusion must be that politicians need more money as annual salary. Consequently, pre-2004 elected politicians would benefit from change to their terms of employment as proposed.
In addition, Pollies who do not feel the need to moonlight would be much happier spending all of their employable time and energy serving their electorates, whom they were elected to serve. Since the community believes that our Pollies are already paid adequately for their service to the community, then Pollie moonlighting would be inconsistent with the community’s expectations.
Conversion of the difference between 69% and 15% superannuation contributions should ameliorate the need for Pollies to be looking for alternative income streams to augment their parliamentary salaries. Since such a change to Pollie remuneration would be consistent with the overall existing Pollie remuneration package, selling the concept to the community should be easy. Especially so, if it were coupled with a promise to create a level playing field, by increasing everyone else’s superannuation contribution to 15% as well.