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How much do Australian politicians get paid after they leave parliament?

[Opinion by Frank Pearce]

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Image: ABC

Politicians seem to be untouchable, or are they?

There are only 2 things that are agreed to unanimously by all political parties, PMs, ministers, premiers, MPs and even Independents.

Firstly their political duties make them the most hardworking, hard done by group in Australia.

Secondly they deserve to be compensated for all this hardship not just by way of salaries that other Australians can only dream about but by as many perks and expenses as they can get away with.

Now while I have absolutely no doubt that when people first sign on as a politician it is because they want to make a difference for ordinary Australians. But within six months a metamorphosis takes place. Not only do they expect to be rewarded financially while they suffer all that hardship, they expect to continue to be rewarded for the term of their natural lives.

I ask that all Australians regardless of your background put an end to this at the next election. Get a guarantee from those you are voting for that they will put an end to this social injustice. Possibly start a Get rid of Parliamentary Perks party. This also needs to be backdated to make sure that all those PMS sitting somewhere only get the pensions and superannuation’s that all Australians get.

It may seem a bit egotistical but I think I have contributed as much to Australia as these politicians, and in particular to those who need a hand up or to those who or for various reasons are unable to stand up for themselves. 

I left school at 14 to help my mum to financially take care of my brothers and sisters. Until I was 30 I worked every rotten job imaginable sometimes 3 at a time to take care of my family and never asked or received assistance from anyone.

At 30 I went to night school while working 2 jobs and got my school certificate. At 50 I completed an Adult Education Degree and at 65 as I retired (sort of) I completed a Master’s in Education Degree.

From 1990 until retirement in 2012 I worked in employment and education at local, state and national levels and received awards for my contributions. Over those 22 years I made a difference in thousands of people’s lives, particularly young people.

My wife, who also worked many jobs over many years, and I have given our whole lives what we could and often what we couldn’t afford to help those in need.

I spent 30 years of my life working 5 days a week, most weekends and public holidays including Christmas day, all away from my family. So where is my compensation? I didn’t get limousines to work, 5 star accommodation, meals, paid family holidays, study trips, and other perks our politicians receive for their severe hardship.

My story is exactly like millions of people across Australia. I don’t want kudos or a thank you, just a fair go.

Those on a pension receive $580 a week pension ($290 each) which with a proposed rise of 5% in GST and all the other rising costs is set to take another battering. More importantly as a couple they can only earn $7488 combined or $144 per week before the pension is affected. Compare this to Joe Hockey, who as the Ambassador to New York will receive $360,000 per annum plus $90,000 parliamentary pension without losing a cent.

Currently just in annual expenses without counting their lavish pensions ex PMs receive:

Paul Keating $74,334.65

Julia Gillard $63,231.45

Kevin Rudd $83,062.60

John Howard $142,562.54 Just his office expenses are $106,767.03.

Could any of the readers of this article tell me my life and my contributions are less worthy that the politicians?

I wrote this article because of the hypocrisy of giving pensioners a $7 per week pay rise.

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