Liberals in terminal decline leave their dead in charge, by Jennifer Oriel. Among the commentary on the latest political jockeying is this interesting gem:
This newspaper’s economic correspondent, Adam Creighton, calculated that it costs taxpayers $45 million a year to fund senior political advisers for federal politicians. Turnbull appears to be a rather extravagant PM; Howard had 345 advisers in 2000 while the current government has 442.
Turnbull’s 50 ministerial staff spend $5840 a day on travel expenses, which is 87 per cent higher than similar expenditure by Abbott’s staff.
One of the Liberal Party’s traditional strengths is reducing the size of government by slashing expenditure. But some of Turnbull’s closest allies defend a big spending agenda when it benefits them. Last year, Education Minister Simon Birmingham backed the process that delivered politicians a 2 per cent pay rise on top of the $199,040 base salary. At a time when wages are stagnating, Birmingham welcomed more taxpayer funding for politicians, saying their salaries were “well and truly in check”.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if politician’s wages were tied to a multiple of average weekly earnings? Then their wages would only go up or down with everyone else’s.