We love a salary reveal at PEDESTRIAN.TV and we reckon it it’s high time to turn the spotlight onto the people actually controlling our wage growth and cost of living: our political leaders.

Australian ministers are some of the highest-paid in the world so are we surprised they’re so out of touch?

With the federal election looming, let’s expose some shit.

Basic binch federal MPs and senators

The base salary for a federal MP or senator in 2022 is $211,250. The base salary usually increases about 2 per cent every year but it’s not always consistent. Since 2000 some years have seen no increase, some have seen raises of 6 or 7 per cent. Randomly in March 2012, outside the regular financial year cycle, they all got a 31.3 per cent raise which is cool and normal.

They’ve ever-so honourably not taken a pay rise since the 2019-2020 financial year, but no doubt some feel it’s overdue.

Australian federal parliament consists of 151 MPs (or members) and 76 senators, so that’s a total annual expense to taxpayers of $47,953,750. I swear I triple-checked that maths.

Our MPs also only about $20,00 less each than US senators, which seems wild given how teeny Aus is.

On top of their salaries MPs also receive *very generous* allowances for their electorate offices, motor vehicles and more than $10,000 for international travel.

Senior MPs with more responsibilities

Some MPs also have cabinet minister duties that see them take responsibilities of departments — ie, health, transport and so on.

They get bonuses on top of their base salaries for managing portfolios.

Most cabinet ministers — including Health Minister Greg Hunt and Defence Minister Peter Dutton — earn $364,406 a year.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is the highest paid MP, other than the PM and the deputy, on $396,093.

Top dogs

We know Scott Morrison thinks buying a house is a piece of cake, he doesn’t know how much a loaf of bread or a bottle of milk cost and he thinks welfare payments, which literally keep Australians below the poverty line, are “generous”.

Well easy for him to fucking say because he earns at least $549,250 a year. That’s more than 10 times the median Australian salary and puts him fifth in the entire world for highest-paid leaders.

He also, ALSO, gets almost $2 million a year for expenses for transport, meals, you name it. I—

Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce more than doubled his income when he retook his position as leader of the Nationals, from the backbencher’s $211k to $433,575 a year.

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese earns $390,820 a year and gets the same expense allowance as the PM.

Greens leader Adam Bandt gets $301,031.

Leader of the Senate Penny Wong gets $332,720.

If you’re really curious you can see exactly what each federal MP has spent their expense allowance on via the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.


To compare, state MPs earn less than federal MPs but not by much.

It varies state to state, but Vic MPs get paid the most with a base salary for backbenchers of $186,973 per year, followed by NSW at $169,192.

Vic Premier Daniel Andrews is the highest paid with a hefty salary of $441,439. He also took a $58,000 pay rise between 2019 and 2021, the last time pays were updated. Other Vic MPs got a raise of $23,784 in the same time period.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet gets $407,980 a year.

All in all, it’s a hell of a lot of money for not doing enough.

Image: Getty Images / Martin Ollman and Sam Mooy