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?