The big parties should take responsibility for their own actions after rushing through legislation that guaranteed massive pay rises for themselves and removing the parliamentary check on pay and perks, Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown said today.
"The big parties stopped the Parliament having to face the embarrassment of debating salaries. Parliament debates income decisions for other Australians, and will fiercely debate short-sighted budget cutbacks, and should debate income decisions for politicians," Senator Brown said in Hobart.
"The Remuneration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill backed by the big parties gave the pay tribunal, alone, the power to determine parliamentarians' base salaries and its future decisions on pay cannot be blocked or amended by Parliament. The Greens opposed the bill, rushed through Parliament by the big parties."
"Many Australians would also be surprised to learn that long-serving federal MPs were given free travel for life and that this could be used solely for personal purposes. Why should taxpayers pay for holiday travel for political pensioners? The major parties appear to have caught up with calls by the Greens for many years to review, limit and, if possible, axe the Gold Pass scheme. That is welcome. It should go."