MPs and their payrises detailed as Clive takes aim at greed
CLIVE Palmer has slammed the latest pay rise for Queensland politicians, revealing he has not taken a cent since being elected to Federal parliament last year.
"The whole thing is a cesspool," the Palmer United Party leader said.
"It's about them. It's not about the community.''
New pay scales for state parliamentarians have pushed the Premier's wage to $379,562, a jump of $70,000. The Sunshine Coast's five Cabinet members are now on $310,066.
The salary for the Speaker Fiona Simpson (Maroochydore), jumps to $287,035, while Nicklin MP Peter Wellington receives $148,848 plus an additional $23,031 in total for his work on three committees.
"It's called public service,'' Mr Palmer said.
"To get a salary you need to fill in a form and send it in. I refuse to do it.
"They're just out for what they can get. Campbell Newman will be cracking a bottle of champagne with his wife tonight.''
The pay rises, backdated to July 1 last year, come as the Government is at war with doctors over their salaries and while emergency service workers are being restricted to a maximum 2.2% rise.
Mr Wellington said he would use the increase to help run his next election campaign. He said he expected a repeat of the 2012 election when the LNP spent $190,000 in a bid to unseat him.
He said the government was fast losing credibility, on the one hand claiming Queensland was so deeply in debt that it had to sell assets and slash public servant numbers then taking a massive pay rise.
Mr Wellington said the government denied responsibility for increases in water and electricity bills and then said the pay rises are the responsibility of an independent tribunal.
"They have the power to make decisions to affect the price of water, power and their salaries,'' he said.
United Fire Fighters Union of Queensland state secretary John Oliver said the
government was inconsistent, listening to independent tribunals about salary matters only when it suited it.
"The State Government displays arrogant hypocrisy in accepting massive wage hikes,'' Mr Oliver said.
"The LNP government's hand-picked three-person 'Independent Tribunal' has determined what it says are 'fair' salaries and allowances for state politicians.
"These are significant pay hikes.
"When it comes to their own pay hikes, government MPs grin approvingly, trumpet the independence of their three amigos, trouser the cash, and keep mum about where the money to fund the massive increases will come from.
"However, the government sings off another song sheet when dealing with the tribunal that examines workers' wages.
"Not content with legislating a diminished independence for the industrial commission, requiring it to take account of the government 'fiscal strategy' and budget when looking at workers' wages, and forcing basic industrial awards to be stripped of entitlements, the government sends lawyers and treasury officials into the tribunal to argue vigorously against firefighters' and communication centre staff wage increases.
"The government has gone as far as to state on the public record at industrial commission hearings that no matter what salary arrangements the workers' tribunal finds to be fair and reasonable, the treasury will only fund up to 2.2% increases."
Mr Palmer said regular Queenslanders were struggling to make ends meet.
"What an insult to the people of Queensland,'' he said.
"Campbell Newman has destroyed more Queensland jobs than any premier in history.
"He has run Queensland down with poor economic management and brutal cuts to public sector jobs and budget spending yet there is still enough in the kitty to find massive pay rises for himself and his mates.
"In the case of Mr Newman, his salary has been topped up by around $70,000 per annum which is way beyond what many Queenslanders earn in a year, those who are lucky enough to still have jobs.
"It shows how out of touch this government really is.
"Queensland politicians should reject these pay rises immediately or donate them to charities that can spend them better.''