Document

The Daily Telegraph

October 30, 2009

 

I deserve my big fat pay rise

 

It's uncomfortable ... But Nathan Rees will take the pay rise anyway.

Source: The Daily Telegraph

 

NSW Premier Nathan Rees has defended a three per cent pay rise for state MPs, saying the increase is below what many in the public sector have received.

 

The pay rise means that from Friday, Mr Rees will receive a salary of $310,685 plus a $39,950 electoral allowance and an expense account of $56,797.

 

Senior ministers will now earn $251,942 while Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell's three per cent increase means he will take home $238,888 a year.

 

Mr Rudd's basic salary is $340,704 before an electoral allowance of $32,000 and generous expenses.

 

Mr Rees's bulging pay packet rivals that of the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, whose base salaries are $268,632 and $245,700 respectively before allowances and expenses.

 

Backbench NSW MPs' pay will increase from $126,560 to $130,540.

 

Mr Rees said while no increase in MPs' pay was popular it came after a 12-month wage freeze for the state's politicians.

 

"It's always uncomfortable when these pay rises are determined,'' he told reporters in Sydney.

 

"But I point out that there has been a pay freeze over the last  12 months and an increase one percentage point less than the general public service rise of around four per cent.''

 

However, at present in NSW any wage increase for public sector workers above 2.5 per cent must be accompanied by savings in other areas.

 

Mr Rees said MPs worked long hours, up to seven days a week, and no one went into the job for the money, which was below what many department heads in the public sector earned.

 

"No politician I know on either side of the house is in it for the monetary reward,'' he said.

 

He could not think of a more transparent way to award MP pay increases, he said, as it was done by an independent tribunal that published guidelines and reasons for its decision.

 

The three per cent wage increase for NSW MPs has flowed on from a decision of the federal government's remuneration tribunal.

 

However, Queensland has extended the freeze.