June 20, 2018

Auto Pay Rise for MPs Must Stop

Greens MLC Mark Parnell has introduced a Bill into State Parliament to stop the automatic flow-on of Federal MP pay rises to State MPs and to give the government and Parliament the ability to exercise restraint.

On 1st July, all State MPs will get at least $4,000 extra salary, with many Government and Opposition MPs getting considerably more, up to $8,000 extra per year. 

“To add insult to injury, MPs will be receiving their pay rises on the same day that Sunday penalty rates are being cut for workers in retail and hospitality.  It’s time we break the link that guarantees automatic pay rises for State MPs.” said Greens MLC Mark Parnell.

Under current rules, any rise in the base pay for Federal MPs will automatically flow on to Parliamentarians in South Australia.  The pay rise is decided by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal based on federal considerations rather than by the State Remuneration Tribunal which would take into account South Australian circumstances.

“It’s very convenient for State MPs to wash their hands of responsibility, but when so many other South Australians are doing it tough, MPs should be able to exercise restraint.  Most State public servants have to fight tooth and nail to get a pay rise, so why should MPs get one without even asking for it?

“This is not about individual MPs writing out refund cheques to the Treasurer, this should be the collective responsibility of all MPs to consider what is fair.  When times are good, then pay rises across the board might be appropriate, but when times are tough, MPs should lead by example and show restraint”, concluded Mark Parnell.

The Greens’ Bill does three things:

1.  Stops the automatic flow-on to State MPs when Federal MPs receive a pay rise;
2.  Puts the SA Remuneration Tribunal in charge of setting SA MPs salaries; and,
3.  Gives MPs an opportunity to vote on whether or not to accept the pay rise in Parliament by “disallowing” any pay rise regulations.