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Tribunal to examine MPs’ pay

Saturday April 20, 2019 Written by Published in Politics
Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown. Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown.

Deputy prime minister Mark Brown says increase in the remuneration of Members of Parliament has not been passed yet contrary to claims that it has been approved.

 

Brown, who is also the Finance minister, said after 14 years Parliament was going through a review of MP remuneration and allowances to be conducted by the Remuneration Tribunal.

He said the tribunal was an independent panel of private-sector individuals tasked with providing Parliament with recommendations, adding they will be able to comment on their findings independently when they have finished.

In Parliament last week, Brown said he believes the remuneration of the MPs needed to be upgraded.

“This initially came about as a result of housing rental market being out of reach of the current housing allowance for MPs particularly from the outer islands. It was costing MPs money to be able to do their job in representing their constituency,” he told CI News on Thursday.

“A subsequent comparison of total remuneration with the general public service found that Parliament was lagging behind the public service and totally outdated in other areas. A look at the Public Service Act will see a requirement for a fair employer provisions. These should also apply to MPs as public servants.”

According to the Civil List

Act 2005, prime minister gets an annual salary of $105,000 while the deputy prime minister receives $95,000.

The ministers, Speaker of Parliament and Leader of the Opposition receives $85,000 each.

Deputy Opposition leader, Leader of the House, Whips and associate ministers each receive $50,000 salary and $5000 allowance.

The MPs are paid $50,000 each per annum.

All MPs receive some housing allowances and a clothing allowance of $5000 per parliamentary term. The clothing allowance is to enable them to purchase appropriate parliamentary attire for all sittings of Parliament including select committee meetings.

DPM Brown said he was looking forward to the recommendations of the Remuneration Tribunal.

He said a similar exercise was done in 2010 by the remuneration team from the Western Australian Parliament. 

It recommended an increase to MPs remuneration but this was put on hold by the government so that increases in public servants pay, old age pension, child benefit, minimum wage was undertaken first, Brown said.

“This has been done consistently over the last eight years, now it is time to turn to a review of Parliament members’ remuneration,” he said.

“I would like to adopt a similar approach to WA Parliament in that pay rises are determined by an independent panel and approved through a statutory appropriation. 

“In other words the increases are not voted on in the Budget by Parliament – they are increased automatically.”