Australian Conservatives

Clean up Canberra - slash the Gold Pass and Pollies' Pensions

The Coalition wants to wind back the Gold Pass - but they haven't gone far enough.

There is a better way.

Australia's debt stands at $500 billion - that's $20,000 debt per man, woman and child.  

Why would we reward the architects of this disaster?

The Coalition will introduce a Bill in the Senate to restrict Gold Pass access to any former Prime Minister.

Why would we reward those who, over the last 10 years, trashed the office of Prime Minister, turning it into a political Hunger Games?

Australian Conservatives :

  1. believes that only Prime Ministers who have served a minimum term of 4 years should qualify for the Gold Pass.  In short, that means former Prime Ministers Howard, Hawke and Keating will retain Gold Pass access, but Australian Conservatives will cut off the Gold Pass for former Prime Ministers Rudd, Gillard or Abbott.  Indeed, current and future Prime Ministers would only earn the Gold Pass if they serve for 4 years.

  2. will cull former PM office entitlements - Similarly, only former Prime Ministers who served the minimum 4 year term should get an office, staff and other entitlements currently given to all former Prime Ministers.

  3. will slash early access to politicians' pensions  - Why should a former member of Parliament be able to start accessing their superannuation decades before every other Australian?  Super should only be available at retirement age like the rest of us. 

Have your Say

10 comments

commented 2017-02-15 21:13:48 +1030
We should understand that gold pass costs for Gillard over the first six months of 2016 were $7,872.03. For Rudd the cost was $2,274.85, while Abbott was zero because he is a serving member of parliament and so not yet qualifying for the gold pass.

Thus the total savings from ending the entitlement to gold pass travel by former prime ministers who served less than four years would have amounted to $10,146.88 for the six months. Say around $20,000 per annum. Not exactly Earth shattering is it.

If we include the car, office, telecommunications and family travel costs, the total savings from pushing Rudd and Gillard off this benefit would come to $150,000.66 between 1 January and 30 June 2016. Let us say around $300,000 per annum. This is hardly going to scratch the surface of the deficit.

Now to put this debate into context, the cost of running the Federal Department of Education which teaches no pupils is $381 million per annum, the cost of running the Department of Social Services is $491 million (note this is the administration costs only and excludes the cost of pensions and allowances paid to beneficiaries) and the cost of running the Department of Human Services is a staggering $6,059 million.

I think this pushes the debate over the gold pass into the side show category and while we allow ourselves to be distracted from the main game by petty political manipulation of the public chatter, government will continue to waste billions of dollars of our money.
commented 2017-02-15 18:50:30 +1030
Too bad for Tony Abbott.
He did nothing about 18C.
He stupidly left dozens of Lefties in Government positions who subverted him at every turn
He attacked Pauline Hanson years back.
Too bad for him.
But, all that is beside the point.
He was not Prime minister for very long.
Just because that arsehole Turnbull undermined him is not the issue.
He can fund his retirement just like the rest of us
commented 2017-02-15 17:07:59 +1030
YES – access to super should be just like the rest of us!
commented 2017-02-15 15:48:45 +1030
I would prefer to see the Gold Pass canned. Period. I don’t see why taxpayers must continue to support ex PMs after they have left office. Like everyone else in Australia, they should sort themselves out, and pay their own bills. They, like everyone else, should fund their own retirement.
As for early access, well, that can not be justified in any way. Put simply, it is wrong. Is it any wonder the average Australian has no respect for politicians?
commented 2017-02-15 13:56:42 +1030
Too subtle. Too small. Too safe. The corruption of the political culture by a self-serving political class demands bold steps. Here’s a couple of suggestions:

1. Peg MPs’ salary to the median wage, currently about $67,000. If the median wage rises, so does politicians’ pay; if it falls, politicians’ pay falls with it. We can call this ‘results-based remuneration’, which is very common in the corporate sector for low and middle-level staff (but not of course for CEOs). This will dramatically deter the careerists and party hacks from seeking a political career, which is exactly what we want, so that only those who see it as a ‘vocation of service’ are attracted. No supplementary payment for leadership or ministerial roles.

2. Go further, and insist that being a Member of Parliament is a vocation of service for a temporary period, as a break from your real job in the real world. Therefore stop calling it a salary and call it a ‘Living Allowance’ set at $67,000. Cash out a reasonable allowance for travel, office and electorate staff, and add this Expenses Allowance to the Living Allowance (weighted for location). Once the Allowance is spent, MPs must dig into their own pockets. Eliminate the whole rotten saga of travel rorts, expense claims and multiple guidelines.

Are we serious about changing the rotten culture, or what?
commented 2017-02-15 07:26:53 +1030
“Why would we reward the architects of this disaster?” This begs the question why stop at the Gold Pass and early access to superannuation. Why not tackle the big question of salaries and entitlements? Why not ask whether we are getting value for money from a political class which are, in the main, little more than bench warmers?

If we were getting value for money from our politicians then we would never bother to question how much they cost us. However, we have created a professional political class who are rewarded by how well they play retail politics and rarely bother the scorer in terms of adding value to public administration in this country. In this context, even a minimal stipend is too much to pay.

So rather than an iterative approach, which does little more than copy the Government’s policy with a slight add on, we should concentrate on the main game. This is not about an entitlement here or there, but about the rewards which are necessary to attract good quality individuals into parliament for the right reasons.

To date we have been poorly served by our politicians, including past and present prime ministers. Yet this should not be about Rudd or Gillard or Abbott or Turnbull. It should not be about the past at, but the future. If the Australian Conservatives are to add any value to this debate it should be concerned with developing a remuneration structure for parliamentarians which will encourage the most able to enter Parliament as a necessary prerequisite for achieving those outcomes which will advance the welfare of all Australians.
commented 2017-02-14 17:23:14 +1030
While do agree on the proposed Gold Pass limitation, I feel that the slashing of early access to pensions is an even better idea. We always hear that a politician’s lot can be hard and these extra benefits over the normal working person go some way to alleviating the pain. However, no-one forced anyone to go into politics and there are many people out there working harder and longer than any politician and who can never dream of receiving such benefits (while all the time paying for them via their tax).
commented 2017-02-14 13:25:58 +1030
I think 4 years is a most reasonable timeframe for all the given reasons as above. I agree that former Prime Ministers should continue to receive the benefits provided the minimum 4 years had been served.
commented 2017-02-14 12:56:41 +1030
I don’t mind honouring past PMs who have served a minimum term (4 years) so whole heartedly support Australian Conservatives balanced approach for Gold Passes, Entilements and definitly politician’s pensions.
published this page in News 2017-02-14 11:06:39 +1030