The Meeting Place

Are politicians paid well enough for the 'inconvenience'?

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Kelly O'Dwyer's resignation has sent shockwaves through Parliament, and the reaction has been anything but pleasant.

Ms O'Dwyer has been the recipient of a slew of social media abuse over the weekend, which is unpardonable, even for a politican who was not the most popular in Parliament.

Ms O'Dwyer says that she has quit politics because she wants to focus on her family and that has garnered sympathy from the public and fellow pollies.

While reading through the multiple reports of her departure, I came across one about juggling parenthood with politics.

In this article, former state Labor minister Philip Dalidakis tweeted “Politics is hard.”

He added: “Expect to see MPs stay for a far shorter period. The value proposition is no longer the same. Reforms are needed. Issues include sitting days, hours, remuneration, media coverage plus more.”

I don't know much about Mr Dalidakis, but I'm guessing he's never laid a brick in his life. If he has, well, I apologise for what's to come.

According to a Sydney Morning Herald report, "The average cabinet minister will be paid $350,209. Their opposition counterparts will earn $253,775, Greens leader Richard Di Natale will earn $289,303 and backbench MPs will see their incomes rise from $199,040 to $203,020 a year."

Politicians might 'have it tough', but they get paid a squillion dollars to do their jobs. A bricklayer gets a pittance in comparison (as do many other types of employees). And he, or she, might have to work 12-hour days to make ends meet. Childcare and healthcare may not be affordable for them, nor may private schooling, and both parents may have to work just to be able to afford to raise a child. They may have to skip doctor's appointments, skimp on food and make all sorts of sacrifices just to get by. And many would be seeing their kids less than a politician would see his or her children over the course of a year.

Maybe I'm being harsh, but politicians are highly paid public servants. They are paid very well and most leave their jobs with big pensions. Many in labour and semi-professional jobs may have to work for years to make the same as a politician makes in one year. Yes, both choose their profession and both may have the right to complain, but one is being paid very well – many may argue that one is definitely doing their job better than the other.

I know it's a black-and-white opinion, and that politics could be a tough gig, but don't come at me with sob stories about how hard they're doing it. They're paid well for the 'inconvenience'.

Or am I being too harsh?

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45 comments

 

Yep the pollies are paid well for their inconvenience. Why else would Zali Steggall be running for Warringah?

Politics is a dirty disgusting game but the obscene salary allows them to buy stacks of soap.

Despite much condemnation against both sides most of us line up like lemmings and vote for these muppets again and again

Several years ago I vowed a candidate would have to EARN my vote and to date no one has done so

That is the main reason why voting should NOT be compulsory

There are 1,000,000 residents in Australia who dont speak english, many of whom are forced to vote for someone.

Yes they are paid plenty and certainly don't deserve the huge pensions they are given, especially as we mere mortals keep getting slugged to cover their costs. 

Let them retire on the minimal according to the years they serve and the results they achieve. We worked a lifetime for our pensions, so should they be compensated the way they are for turning up in parliment just to criticise each other rather than serve the people thay are elected to do. I think not. And with these lovely salaries and pensions they claim travelling, postage etc which should come from their salaries not as extras. All I see is politicians taking advantage of the tax payers to attend functions that don't benefit all Australians and serve no-one but themselves.

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