Pictured from left, Robyn Halliday, 66, Jean Orchard, 67, and Natalie Harris , 88, are unhappy with the proposal to increase federal politicians pay.
Pictured from left, Robyn Halliday, 66, Jean Orchard, 67, and Natalie Harris , 88, are unhappy with the proposal to increase federal politicians pay. David Nielsen

Seniors outraged at MPs' salary

FEDERAL MPs look set to receive massive pay rises at the same time government spending is being slashed and Ipswich seniors are saying enough is enough.

The Remuneration Tribunal is due to release a review of MP salaries and entitlements within weeks and early reports suggest backbenchers will benefit from pay rises of $40-50,000 while Prime Minister Julia Gillard could get a $90,000 raise.

MPs are set to lose some entitlements as part of the review with access to the lucrative "Life Gold Pass" set to be slashed.

The reports hit a raw nerve with pensioners lunching at Brothers Leagues Club yesterday.

Collingwood Park pensioner Robyn Halliday said it was just another example of the divide between politicians and those they represent.

"I'm not happy about it at all, it's simply not deserved," Ms Halliday said.

"I don't even want to read about it anymore, it's disgusting."

Jean Orchard, 67, from Pine Mountain said she couldn't believe the timing of the pay rises.

"They're asking us to cut back on our spending and their wages are going up," Ms Orchard said.

"They're so out of touch, they have no idea how hard people are doing it."

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann distanced himself from the reports.

Mr Neumann said no official figures had been released and any outcome was still possible.

"It's got nothing to be with me," Mr Neumann said.

"I'm prepared to take whatever the tribunal comes up with.

"I'll accept whatever decision they make whether it's a freeze a decrease or an increase."

One possible outcome of the review is for MPs' electorate allowances to be rolled into their base salaries.

Mr Neumann said he currently used his entire electorate allowance to help his local community but wouldn't confirm if that would continue if it was rolled into his base salary.

Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said any debate on politicians' salaries guaranteed a public backlash but the current process ensured independence.

"It's a no-win situation," he said.

"There's never a good time to do this.

"I'm glad that the process with the independent tribunal means it is taken out of our hands."

Mr Buchholz said some positives would come from the review describing "Gold Passes" as an "outdated perk".



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