State pollies get another cracker of a pay increase
IF YOU'VE got a problem with Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller's pay increase, feel free to stand at the next election, a political expert says.
State MPs are set to receive a pay rise in April, a topic which always stirs up controversy, former Queensland parliamentary speaker John Mickel says.
But if you're concerned that Ms Miller, who receives $310,066 annually, will get a pay increase to $313,906, Mr Mickel says feel free to stand at the next election.
"There is nothing to stop you standing," he said.
"The general public will say one thing but when it comes to committing, very few want to stand."
State members, including Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard, Ipswich West's Jim Madden and Lockyer's Ian Rickuss are paid a base salary of $148,848.
Those who are ministers, shadow ministers or a speaker are paid extra allowances.
In Ms Miller's case, she receives a bonus $161,218 for her role as Police, Fire and Emergency Services and Corrective Services Minister. Mr Rickuss, who has been named Opposition Whip, gets an extra $34,547 on top of the base salary.
The Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal has approved a 2.58% increase on MPs wages from April 6 this year, which will take the base salary up to $152,688 each year.
While the region's MPs might be sitting on the big bucks, Mr Mickel, a former Labor MP, said most people forgot that with the pay came fewer entitlements than workers in the public sector.
"No matter when an increase comes along ... there is always an outcry from the tabloids and it feeds into the pub talk," he said.
"But how many people at the election stand so they can get this great pay increase? The answer is very few.
"Because if you compare it with the public service, not one politician gets long service leave, annual leave or annual leave loading, stress leave and sick leave and the flexible working day that the public servants get."
Following through on her election promise, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has written to the tribunal to officially request any increase be no more than the percentage increase public service employees receive later this year.
Along with the base salary increase, Ms Palaszczuk also will receive a 2.58% increase on top of her Premier's allowance, taking her overall income to $388,942 per year.
Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg is paid the same as ministers and will get an increase in pay to $313,906.
In response to Labor's intention to align pay increases with public servants' rises, Mr Springborg said it was a populist move in the short term that would prove to be problematic.
He said certain public servant employees had received increases of up to 8-10% per year in the past.
"Imagine how popular that would be if we linked ourselves to public servants," he said.
Parliamentary committee members and committee chairpersons also receive bonus salaries on top of the base pay, but these positions will not be allocated until Parliament returns later this month.
- Ipswich: Jennifer Howard (ALP) current pay $148,848, increase to $152,688
- Ipswich West: Jim Madden (ALP) current pay $148,848, increase to $152,688
- Lockyer: Ian Rickuss (LNP) current pay $183,395, increase to $187,235