Joyce affair reveals that Australian political advisers cost too much

Joyce affair reveals that Australian political advisers cost too much, by Adam Creighton.

Vikki Campion was just one of 155 senior political advisers employed by the Turnbull government last year. Surprised journalists reported her salary of “up to $191,000” for her digital and social media strategy role. That’s actually a considerable understatement.

Such advisers receive a “private-plated vehicle” allowance of $24,600 and “parliamentary staff allowance” of $31,600 too. So the correct figure for senior advisers is a salary of up to $247,000 a year, excluding travel allowance of course, which for a non-­Canberra-based adviser is about $18,000 (untaxed). Then there’s 15.4 per cent superannuation.

The opposition and Greens have about 26 senior advisers as well, suggesting taxpayers have to pony up about $45 million a year for senior political advice alone. It’s the tip of the iceberg. All up there are about 540 advisers spread across the government (442), opposition (95), and other minor parties. These higher paid roles (all six figures) come on top of the four electorate staff each MP and senator receives. …

Cost isn’t a big theme in Canberra, where even the taxis double the fare if they are carrying two or more passengers. And why not? As if anyone is using their own money.