Members of Parliament salary and entitlements

Parliament house flag post

Members of Parliament salary and entitlements

Posted 29/03/2011 by Cathy Madden

On 24 March the Special Minister of State, Hon Gary Gray, introduced the Remuneration and other legislation amendment bill 2011. This bill provides, among other matters, for the Remuneration Tribunal to determine MP’s base salary, currently $136 640, and ends the Parliament’s ability to disallow the remuneration determinations, that is senators’ and members’ pay increases. The Bill also requires the Tribunal, an independent statutory authority, to publish its reasons for the determination.

Since 1990 the Remuneration Tribunal has only had an advisory power with regard to the annual allowance (or base salary). After the relevant determinations are tabled, Parliament may resolve to disapprove (disallow) the determinations. In 1974 Parliament disallowed the Tribunal’s determination increasing the annual allowance to $20 000 per annum. In the thirty years since then Parliament has also modified determinations, postponed increases and enacted reduced allowances previously determined by the Tribunal. The most recent example of wage restraint was the pay freeze that occurred from 1 July 2008.

This legislation implements the first of the recommendations of the Review of Parliamentary Entitlements (the Belcher Review) which had been established in September 2009. The report of the Belcher review was also released on 24 March 2011 following almost 12 months consideration by the Government. The Government believes that this reform will boost the transparency and integrity of the parliamentary entitlements framework.

The Belcher Review has drawn a distinction between remuneration, that is salary, and ‘tools of trade”, that is entitlements such as office facilities and transport and recommends that each be dealt with separately. The former will be determined by the Remuneration Tribunal and the latter to be covered by a single piece of legislation to be administered by the minister. It is recommended that the Remuneration Tribunal undertake a work value assessment of parliamentary remuneration. It is envisaged that this will increase transparency and decrease the complexity and duplication in administering the entitlements regime. The Minister’s media release identifies reforms recommended by the Belcher Review that the Government has already implemented such as Opposition staffing, amendments to the printing and communications entitlements and expanded reporting of MPs expenditure.

The government has released the report for discussion of the issues it raises and for further consideration of its other recommendations by the Remuneration Tribunal.

Other key recommendations of the Belcher Review include:

  • Rolling in electorate allowance and overseas study travel with the base salary
  • Ending the Gold Pass scheme and severance travel scheme from the next election for the 44th Parliament
  • Stopping the use of the printing and communications allowance when an election is announced


Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

immigration refugees elections taxation asylum Parliament criminal law Indigenous Australians election results Australian Bureau of Statistics social security disability citizenship income management political parties United Kingdom UK Parliament Census statistics banking early childhood education Middle East Australian foreign policy OECD Australian Electoral Commission voting mental health Employment welfare by-election election timetable China; Economic policy; Southeast Asia; Africa housing Speaker; House of Representatives; Parliament Productivity Defence asylum seekers High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title Senate ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories leadership aid Papua New Guinea emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding Electoral reform politics refugees immigration asylum Canada procurement Australian Public Service firearms Indigenous health constitution High Court e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament women 2015 International Women's Day public policy ABS Population Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade skilled migration Private health insurance Medicare Financial sector EU national security fuel China soft power education violence against women domestic violence Fiji India Disability Support Pension disability employment welfare reform Tasmania Antarctica China Diplomacy Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency Sport ASADA Federal Court WADA ADRV by-elections state and territories terrorism terrorist groups Bills corruption anti-corruption integrity fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform science innovation research and development transport standards Afghanistan Australian Defence Force NATO United States social media Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism higher education Higher Education Loan Program HECS welfare policy pensions social services ASIO Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Australian Secret Intelligence Service intelligence community Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 sexual abuse online grooming sexual assault of minors labour force workers

Show all
Show less
Back to top