Here we are on the week of a Federal Election, so obviously, there’s a lot of very real considerations you’re currently weighing up in trying to work out which Australian politicians to vote for. I am not here to provide you those answers. Instead, I’m here to do a mini-investigation into how much our pollies actually make while they make terrible decisions for our country and refuse to answer straight forward questions in a straight forward manner.
Lucky for me, the investigation part here is almost as easy and having a squiz at the latest report on base salaries for senators and members release by the Australian Government themselves.
There are a whole bunch of legislative reasons why this is so which you can read in the report, but it boils down to the fact that as of July 1st last year, Federal senators and members start off with a base annual salary of $207,100. They actually call it ‘allowance by way of salary‘ rather than a straight salary.
I was once told (by an aspiring politician) that they didn’t actually make that much money. I dunno, maybe it’s because I chose to be journo but this seems quite a decent place to start to me?
On top of this, there are ‘loadings’ depending on their role in the government, based on a percentage of that allowance/salary. If you’re the PM, you get a noice 160% loading. This means that as of 1st July 2018 – just before ScoMo – the Prime Minister was making a solid $538,460.
Deputy PM gets 105% and Treasurer 87.5%. The percentage keeps on going down for a whole bunch of job titles I’ve never heard of until we get to Parliamentary Secretaries at 25% loading.
The opposition salary is dictated in much the same way, however, the Leader of the Opposition starts with an 85% loading and goes down to 25% for a Shadow Minister.
Naturally, these numbers are including things like travel, accommodation and electoral allowances, which are audited separately.
State Governments each have their own salary schemes, but they follow much the same structure as the Federal one. For example, New South Wales had a base salary for members of the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council of $165,066 as at July 1st last year.
Seems that Tasmanian politicians get the worst deal of any other state or territory with a base of a still pretty damn decent $133,560…so pretty sure they’re ok.
So there you have it, they’re almost certainly making a lot more bank than you. The more you know. If you’re looking for a more detailed breakdown of each polly salary, check this bad boi out.