Pollies & Crackers

Last year the Remuneration Tribunal gave our Federal parliamentarians a serious Christmas present in the form of huge pay increases. The PM copped $90K more, taking her annual salary to $470,000 – try benchmarking that with the US President’s $400,000 and UK PM’s paltry $221,000. Huh? The Deputy PM managed to scoop an even bigger increase of $93K, so obviously he’d been grossly underpaid, as he now earns $370,000. The House Speaker’s cop was another $70K to get to $315,000, as was the Finance Minister’s top-up to $310,000. Lowly member salaries went up $40K to $180,000. Now that’s starting to look like rather biggish bickies, not crackers at all, for our inspiring pollies. Cute abbreviations, like pokies, make them seem less noxious.

No doubt this august tribunal indulged in all the dark arts of salary confection, with that trite old chestnut in mind as it scoured inflated corporate and public service salary comparisons: paying peanuts only attracts monkeys. And all the performance and productivity indicators of our Federal pollies would have been going bananas, so to speak: clear policy, consistent principles, progressive legislative programs, intellectual rigour, societal role modelling & leadership, respect of parliamentary procedures, etc. Of course these high standards will further improve after their northerly salary increments.

With these proper remuneration packages we can now look forward to attracting more (non-monkey) talent into Federal politics, to take this great little big country to new heights of leadership. The results already speak for themselves, as we’ve seen in recent months!

Unravelling this bunch of mixed metaphors of chestnuts, peanuts, bananas and crackers with parrots and monkeys, presents a challenge, so we’ll just muddle through. That ungrateful watermelon (you know, green on the outside and red on the inside) Bob Brown had the temerity to suggest that pollie salaries should really be compared with ordinary Australians, like teachers and nurses, not corporate executives. Thank god Bob’s retired from politics, as he’s so out of touch with our sacred, mortgage-stressed working families and their appreciation of our ruling mob of macaques. Or galahs, or whatever!

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