Politicians to see salary increase

NORTHERN Rivers Federal MPs Justine Elliot and Janelle Saffin are set to receive pay rises in exchange for a loss of perks such as free air travel.

A Rudd Government-appointed committee is reportedly working on politician salary changes that would see rises in the take-home pay and superannuation of Federal MPs.

Last year it was announced that the salaries of Federal ministers, including Richmond MP and Minister for Ageing, Justine Elliot, would increase by $7000 a year to $226,044.

It was also announced that backbenchers, including Member for Page Janelle Saffin, would receive a raise of $3980, taking her annual earnings to $131,040.

Lifting the base salaries for members of Federal Parliament will also result in higher superannuation payments.

However, they stand to lose an $18,500 overseas study allowance, $19,500 private car allowance and $32,000 electorate allowance under the committee’s proposed changes.

Also reported to be on the hit list is the so-called ‘Gold Pass’, which allows free domestic air travel for politicians who have served more than 20 years in Parliament.

Ms Elliot was unavailable for comment yesterday. A spokeswoman from her office was unwilling to respond to the committee’s plans.

“It would be inappropriate to speculate about the contents of an independent committee’s report,” she said.

“The report has not been handed to the Government.”

The committee is due to report to the Government in April.

Neither Ms Saffin nor her media adviser returned The Northern Star’s calls yesterday.

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