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MPs swap Gold Pass for pay hike

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 28 Feb 2012

The sting in the tail of the abolition of the Life Gold Pass for new MPs and reduction in business class flights for existing members, is the gifting of a yet another pay rise to MPs and the removal of parliamentary oversight of future pay grabs, says Greens Senator and democracy spokesperson Lee Rhiannon.

Legislation abolishing the scheme, which in 2010 to 2011 cost taxpayers $1.3 million, passed the Senate last night. A rise in MPs base salaries from $140,910 to $185,000 a year was contingent on passage of the bill.

“Tearing up the Gold Pass is a step forward. But this initiative should have occurred without handing MPs’ another pay rise,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“Restoring the Remuneration Tribunal’s ability to set salaries without the power of parliament to disallow the determination is also bad for democracy.

“Transparency and accountability demand that parliament maintain oversight over how public money is spent.

“MPs are again free to distance themselves from future pay grabs, claiming they are determined by the Remuneration Tribunal and therefore out of their control.

“The public is rightly fed up with seeing consistent rises in MPs pay which are out of whack with what ordinary Australians earn,” Senator Rhiannon said.

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