Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Principal Executive Office Classification Structure and Terms and Conditions

Motion for Disallowance

6:05 pm

Photo of Bob BrownBob Brown (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

I thank those who have contributed to this debate and I beg to disagree. The motion as I have put it from the Greens would see that MPs got a 2.5 per cent increase, not the 6.7 per cent. The Fair Pay Commission just a few weeks ago determined that Australian workers get a two per cent increase. The Greens are saying: let that be an indication that MPs should get the same. We have put this to the Senate, and it appears that all parties are rejecting it. We do not. What is more, the Remuneration Tribunal does not give reasons and it has not given reasons. We cannot debate reasons that are not given. There is no justification for this pay rise. I submit and put here again that the Remuneration Tribunal, which is appointed by the government, is a politically charged organisation which is not able to make a dispassionate assessment, and we would not be in this position were it able to.

If it is good enough for workers in this country to have their pay increases determined by the Fair Pay Commission set up by Mr Howard, the Prime Minister, and the government, then it is good enough for members of parliament to have our pay increase set by the Fair Pay Commission as well. It should be two per cent; it should not be seven per cent. We should not be sailing 85 per cent above the consumer price index while pensioners languish with no increase at all. I thank members for their point of view. I reject it; it is not logical; it does not stand up to scrutiny. We are doing the right thing here and we stand by this disallowance motion, which would make our pay increases the same as those for the rest of the Australian community.

Question put:

That the motion (Senator Bob Brown’s) be agreed to.


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