Around $350 Million Could Be Saved If Aussie Politicians' Six Figure Pension Was Scrapped
When you're an Australian politician, you get dragged through the mud pretty much every day. That's just the state of Canberra at the moment, sadly.
While that must be a tough lifestyle, it's pretty rosy once they bail out of politics as MPs elected before 2004 can enjoy a pension that can reach up to six figures. Not a bad sum of cash when you think about it.
According to the Guardian, a whopping 482 politicians and their spouses are on that contract.
But the Greens party wanted to have a look at what the public coffers would be like if we scrapped that perk and the results were pretty outrageous.
The cost analysis shows there would be $350 million available over 11 years.
Greens Senator Larissa Waters said: "Nobody else keeps getting paid once they finish a job and it's an insult to all workers whose wages have flatlined for this free money to be doled out to ex-pollies.
"Politicians raking in $350-mil over the next 11 years in bloated pensions after they retire from the job is why ordinary people think politicians are out of touch and motivated by self-interest.
"That $350-mil could pay for domestic violence survivor grants. It could fund a federal anti-corruption body. It could be a down payment on increasing Newstart, which is decades overdue."
Politicians get more in their pension if they served as a minister or officeholder - so you know there are some pollies who are on very decent sums.
Ms Waters is calling for politicians elected on either side of 2004 to be eligible to a pension that is 15.4 percent of their annual salary. Nothing more, nothing less.
She adds: "Only when parliaments put the interests of the community and planet ahead of their own profits and those of their corporate donors will we see democracy working as it should."
At the moment, Aussie politicians could get, at the minimum, 50 percent of their parliamentary allowance if they've served for at least eight years. So at least there's an incentive to stick around in politics for two terms.
Every year after the eight year minimum, an extra 2.5 percent of the parliamentary allowance gets added to their pension.
While politicians deserve to be rewarded for their service to representing their electorate, it can be taking the piss sometimes and it's clear it could reap some serious financial gain if we change the rules.
Featured Image Credit: PA