Queensland Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has rejected Labor’s call to scrap hefty pay rises for the state’s more senior politicians.
A Queensland cabinet minister has rejected a call for politicians to lose their hefty salary increases, after receiving a 28 per cent pay rise.
The Labor opposition says the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal’s decision – affecting frontbench MPs and parliamentary committee heads – should be scrapped when parliament resumes next week.
Premier Campbell Newman, his ministers and Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk were this week awarded significant salary increases of between 21 and 35 per cent – five months after the tribunal made a separate ruling on the base pay of backbenchers.
But Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has rejected Labor’s call to overturn this week’s decisions, arguing the opposition supported the establishment of an independent tribunal to decide politicians’ pay in July last year.
His salary is rising by $67,640, or 27.9 per cent, to $310,066.
“That’s the way the opposition wanted it, that’s the way everyone in parliament wanted (it) and we’ve now been handed down a decision,” he said in a statement.
“The community gave us a strong message last year and that was politicians should not have a say in what their pay is, which is why we set up the independent tribunal with the support of the opposition.”
Labor’s eight-member caucus on Friday voted to oppose the pay increases, even though Ms Palaszczuk stands to gain a 34.4 per cent pay rise, taking her salary up by $79,464 to $310,066.
“State cabinet on Monday and state parliament next week need to consider urgent legislation to scrap this determination and ask the tribunal to revisit its decision,” the party said in a statement.
The opposition wants politicians’ pay rises linked the public sector’s 2.2 per cent.
Under the decision, Mr Newman’s annual salary will rise by $67,525, or 21.7 per cent, to $379,160.