Scott Morrison has denied “simply false” reports that a Liberal MP earning $426,000 a year was demanding a taxpayer-funded raise.
Scott Morrison has responded to reports that a senior cabinet minister earning $426,000 a year is demanding a pay rise.
WA MP Ken Wyatt – who earns $7,109 a week as Minister for Indigenous Australians – thinks we’re not paying politicians enough.
At a time when many Australians are struggling to pay bills or put food on the table, Mr Wyatt believes it is politicians who need a boost.
Four years ago, Mr Wyatt said he was unsure what he was earning, but to attract quality candidates taxpayers needed to pay MPs more money.
When approached by The Australian this week after soaring living prices pushed inflation to 5.1%, Mr Wyatt did not back down from his stance.
“His comments were related to the decision he made to enter Parliament and the fact that he was earning more as a civil servant (as Director of Indigenous Health, for Australia’s Department of Health West) than as a backbencher,” a spokesperson told the newspaper. .
“It’s ultimately about serving the community, and that’s why he raised his hand to represent Hasluck and is now carrying out his plan.”
The prime minister was asked about the reports on Saturday, with a reporter asking if it showed his government was out of touch.
“Well, I have to correct you, he’s not advocating that, he’s not advocating that,” he told reporters in Tasmania.
“You are referring to comments made four years ago that have been dragged on and that is not his view.”
Mr. Morrison again underlined the time that had elapsed since the first comments.
“Four years ago things were…” he said.
“And these things are set by an independent tribunal, as they should be, they shouldn’t be set by politicians at all, and they aren’t.
“The suggestion that Ken is making these comments at this point is simply wrong.”
ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said many people were more deserving of a pay rise than ministers.
“So Ken Wyatt, the Liberal MP for Hasluck, says he should get a raise when he’s on $426,000. He says he works hard,” she said.
“Well, the same goes for older workers who make $24 an hour and can’t afford rent or food. If there’s a list of people deserving of raises, it’s at the bottom.