We Dug Up Politicians’ 2023 Salaries & Quickly Worked Out Why Cost Of Living Isn’t Being Fixed

salary politicians

We love a salary reveal at PEDESTRIAN.TV and we reckon 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?

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, and 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.

The Remuneration Tribunal gave all federal MPs a 2.75 per cent pay rise on July 1, 2022, so let’s expose some shit.

Basic binch federal MPs and senators

The base salary for a federal MP or senator in 2023 is $212,250. Back in 2022 it was $217,060.

Our MPs also only earn about $20,000 less each than US senators, which seems wild given how teeny and seemingly insignificant Australia 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.

Australian federal parliament consists of 151 MPs (or members) and 76 senators, so if they were all paid the base rate that’d be a total annual expense to taxpayers of $49,272,620. I swear I triple-checked that maths. But they don’t all get just the base rate. Some get *a lot* more.

Senior MPs with more responsibilities

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

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

Most cabinet ministers earn about $370,000 a year.

Top dogs

Brace yourself.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese now earns $564,360 a year, up from $549,250 last 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 gets almost $2 million a year to cover expenses for transport, meals, you name it.

Deputy PM Richard Marles gets $433,575 a year, up from $416,212.

When Labor won the election his pay more than doubled from the base salary of $211,000 in May 2022.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton earns about $401,000 a year (previously $390,000) and gets the same expense allowance as the PM.

When he took Scott Morrison‘s job as party leader his pay went up about $10,000, even though he’s not actually a minister anymore because his party isn’t in government.

The Speaker of the House, the person in charge of wrangling the pollies in Question Time, gets about $369,700 annually.

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 Victorian 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 $481,190 ($441,439 last year). 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.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will cop $469,367 for her gig this year, the second highest of all the state premiers.

South Australian Premier Peter Malinauskas will net $418,000, coming in third.

NSW Premier Chris Minns gets $407,980 a year and didn’t cop a pay bump for 2023. Poor fella, must be tough!

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