OUR SAY: THERE can be no doubt that this Federal Government and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull have completely lost touch with ordinary Australians and the way they live.
A Courier Mail report shows Mr Turnbull has personally approved almost $1 million in pay top-ups for senior staff, including those who work for him, boosting some staffer salaries above the pay of a backbencher.
The Prime Minister has exercised his power under MOPS, the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act, to grant up to 30 ministerial staff higher pay than under the enterprise agreement.
It puts the staffers above the range in their band, at a time when Australians are struggling with the lowest wage growth on record and facing significant cost-of-living pressures.
Under their workplace agreement, government staffers can be paid a maximum salary of $259,000, which is already well above the $203,000 wage of most federal MPs.
But Mr Turnbull has used a special power in the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act 1984 to hand an average of $28,000 each to the 30 staffers.
Malcolm Turnbull's former chief of staff Drew Clarke was earning almost $700,000. His new chief of staff Peter Woolcott is likely to be earning a similar amount.
Every struggling jobless person, every pensioner and most ordinary Australians will be shocked and disgusted at these obscene salary hikes.