You’ve got to be kidding!

Update: My bad. Cato the elder suggests in comments that that I have misread the section. Apologies. Carry on.

Reading through the Budget Papers I found this gem:

The Government has made a submission to the independent Remuneration Tribunal proposing to freeze the salaries and allowances of parliamentarians, departmental secretaries and all other public office holders at current levels for 12 months, over the period 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015. The freeze will also apply to the pensions of former parliamentarians received under the closed Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Scheme. Subject to a final determination by the Tribunal, this is expected to achieve savings of $20.0 million over four years.
A small loss of revenue associated with the resultant reduction in taxable income has been incorporated into the estimates.

Yes – that’s right. Freezing MPs salaries will result in a budget cost of $20 million over four years due to foregone tax revenue. Not a mention (that I can find so far) on the budget saving of not having to pay the increased salary in the first instance.

Simply astonishing.

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38 Responses to You’ve got to be kidding!

  1. Cato the Elder

    I think you have misread it. It reads to me as a $20M saving, after allowing for a minor loss of revenue.

  2. Tintarella di Luna

    Have I read that right that the freeze is from 1-7-2014 to 30-6-3015 big fat hairy deal — how about doing it over the 4 years of forward estimates, that would be a saving of 80 million.

  3. Procrustes


    You have misread this – the $20 million is the saving from expenditure – it’s listed as an expense measure not a revenue measure. What they are saying there is also a small amount of revenue loss incorporated.

  4. H B Bear

    Snic might have spent too long in the lock-up. Go for a walk in the sunshine and have a coffee or something.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Cato / Procrustes – yes, you’re right. My bad. I’m going to stop reading now and do something else.

  6. Infidel Tiger

    A one year deal that will be completely adjusted in 2015 to make up for 2014’s shortfall.


  7. H B Bear

    To be fair, after six years of K D Wrong and The Goose with their Alice in Wonderland tax increase “saves”, the Budget papers can hardly be taken at face value.

  8. Gibbo

    When you set out to be outraged it’s not hard to find, or think you’ve found, just the thing to outrage you. Be careful what you look for or “seek and ye shall find”. 🙂

  9. egg_

    Can we just put ’em in cryogenic deep storage, so that they do less harm?
    (Not a death threat).

  10. Rabz

    spent too long in the lock-up. Go for a walk in the sunshine and have a coffee or something a cigar.


  11. Gk

    Don’t worry I see a lot more committees happening where I understand each pollie on the committee gets paid extra then a catch up pay rise in 2016

  12. Ubique

    Canberra bureaucrats are green socialists to the core. It’s inappropriate they be sacked. Composted or mulched would be the go.

  13. Michel Lasouris

    Ubique, that reminsd me of a bumper sticker frequently seen out here in the sticks. It reads
    ” Save the Planet….plant a greenie”

  14. None

    So high income earners get hit with a new tax for three years (it will be permanent, watch) while the luvvies who have been enjoying outrageous pay rises with no performance asssessments get a freeze of one year which of course will be undone when the RenTrib gives them a big boost next year. I had high hopes for this government. Clearly those hopes were misplaced. Tax and spend. Politics over principle. Bunch of girls indeed.

  15. Rob

    Before the 2013 election I had formed the view that Australia could become ungovernable.
    The Howard government had been tossed out – why?
    Howard had lost his seat – why?
    We’ve suffered for 6 years under 3 of the most incompetent governments in living memory – why?
    The Abbott Government’s huge mandate is ignored and held in universal contempt – why?
    Abbott did not get the traditional new PM’s honeymoon – why?
    And now the first budget of this new government is being shredded by all and sundry including the entire MSM, and those nitwits, dills, and wackos, who have fortuitously found their way into the Senate – why?
    It seems that little of the current government’s budget will survive, it’s legislative agenda will be denied, and we will continue to suffer the Carbon Tax.
    It may well be game over for the Coalition, if not within the next 12 months , then surely at the 2016 election. (I can hear the applause at Catalaxy now)
    The essential thread that ties all of these undeniable realities together is the Australian media and in particular “our” ABC – WHY?

  16. Notafan

    I was wondering before the budget whether a heavy spending cut /pay down the debt budget had any potential for damaging the economy.
    Was that a possible outcome?
    What motivated Hockey Abbott to go the spend on different long term infrastructure type things instead? I know they talked up infrastructure spending.
    What do they achieve by taking longer to get the debt paid? Where did the medical research spending come from?
    I would rather clear the credit card myself.

  17. Baldrick

    Spot on IT … wait for the 2015-2016 Budget. I’m sure the salaries will be ‘seasonally adjusted’ to account for any supposed ‘savings’.

  18. James C

    Loss of minor amount of revenue … surely that’s revenue of ~40%, or has the negative gearing, income splitting, primary producer losses etc. taken them close to the tax free threshold. Do you think they qualify for Family tax A and B?

  19. None

    Notafan – there may have been some fear about driving the economy into recession although I don’t think it would have been a well grounded fear. Not enough cuts in the right places. Deepest cuts kick in late. Too much politics (a new tax to preempt the politics of envy FFS!!!!) . And too much useless spending: PPL, Direct Action etc etc.

    Oh and by the way, we still have a carbon tax and a mining tax.

  20. Ellen of Tasmania

    My bad.

    Just as an aside, can someone please tell me where this came from? Is it easier on the ego than to say straight out “I was wrong” – sort of like “I miss-spoke” (or however you spell it) – or is it just trendier?

  21. Tintarella de Luna

    My bad.

    Ellen you’re right, because today, if you’re say — Hilary Clinton and you tell a bare-faced lie and everyone know it — you mis-spoke, see much nicer, liar is just plain naaaaasty. Or if you’re young and you are mistaken you can’t say — sorry I thought I made a mistake but I was mistaken, it’s – my bad — see, all lovely and you think you don’t look like a turkey because there are no mirrors for the young and naive

  22. wreckage

    Easier on the ego, whilst still admitting full culpability.

  23. CatAttack

    I think that since almost everyone in the nation including Mark Scott has come out and complained it must have done the trick.

  24. Just as an aside, can someone please tell me where this came from? Is it easier on the ego than to say straight out “I was wrong” – sort of like “I miss-spoke” (or however you spell it) – or is it just trendier?

    It’s trendier.
    But it’s also really tidy and short.
    You can quickly acknowledge a mistake in two rapid fire syllables, and it’s over and done.

    Say it, own it, move on. I like it.

  25. CatAttack

    And who are all these well-fed looking folk on TV now from groups like the social justice disabled lesbian unemployed collective who look and sound suspiciously like greens get up operatives.

  26. lem

    I really like people who can admit when they made a mistake. That’s professional.

    Never saw it from Gillard/Swan/hangers on that I can remember.

  27. CatAttack

    Politicians admitting they made a mistake!!!!. Peter Beattie made a career out of apologising to the electorate and it seemed to work but he lost me after the first election because it just lost its effect.

  28. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    It is entirely possible that the present political parties are obsolete.our form of government was always based on a modicum of honesty and sincerity on the part of the elected representatives.changes of governing parties always had an element of respect for each other and tradition Australia Always came first.
    The present crop of politicians disregard these unwritten rules,the grasping ambitions of third rate people grossly flawed personalities,the desparate grasping for power,the silencing of any criticism,the total greed for money and total diregard of prudent spending,the incessant lying and obfuscation of statementsindicate people of the lowest standards,totally amoral and in many cases immoral.
    Ably aided and abettedby people pretending to be investigative journalists who are complete strangers to the truth ,and marxist indoctriated by the old communist academics ,like the ones who corrupted Philby and co at Cambridge 80 or so years ago they corrupted the next generation who corrupted the present day tutors ,who in turn are corrupting the next generation of disinformation peddlers,the whole potliticalsystem is rotten and needs a new system where the People have ALL the power and political parties are forbidden.
    Rule by Referenda,by the People.

  29. Des Deskperson

    According to Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2013/14 of October 2013, Departmental Secretaries will receive the second tranche of a substantial pay rise on 1 July 2014. Among other things, this would famously increase the Secretary of PM&C’s salary t0 $844k p.a.

    Does the freeze that comes into effect on 1 July 2014 mean that Secretaries will now forgo their second increase?? Seems hard to believe!

  30. entropy

    Beattie used to do set piece apologies all the time, then promise to fix the mess. During the apology, his cheeks would swell until he looked like a chipmunk. I regarded it as some kind of tell.
    Of course, he didn’t fix anything but the apology did the trick with the voters so he got away with it, whatever the occasion… Then he installed Bligh.

  31. wreckage

    Yeah, but ever since he’s been about as popular as quiche at a truckie’s picnic.

  32. AP

    Sounds like they factor in a lot of tax avoidance by politicians. Otherwise you’d expect a loss of revenue approximately equal to 49.5% of the overall saving (including Medicare levy, etc)

  33. duncanm


    social justice disabled black lesbian unemployed puppeteer collective


  34. papachango

    ” Save the Planet….plant a greenie”

    I thought it was “grow your own dope . plant a greenie”

    alternatively loggers are fond of ‘save the planet – doze in a greenie’*

    *not a Death Threat (TM)

  35. The Fifth Bike Rider of the Apocalypse

    From the Urban Dictionary:
    My bad

    A way of admitting a mistake, and apologizing for that mistake, without actually apologizing. The best definition I ever read of this, now paraphrased:

    “I did something bad, and I recognize that I did something bad, but there is nothing that can be done for it now, and there is technically no reason to apologize for that error, so let’s just assume that I won’t do it again, get over it, and move on with our lives.”

  36. Senile Old Guy

    Niki Savva:

    What angers voters more than a broken promise is the refusal to admit to it. People hate being lied to and they hate being treated like mugs. They know what they heard, just like they understand completely what has ­happened now. It makes Abbott’s task of winning respect that much harder.

    If Bill Shorten was only half the opposition leader Abbott was he could destroy this government with this budget — so threatening a double-dissolution election if measures are not passed is hollow and wholly counterproductive.

  37. handjive

    3 September 2013

    “Direct Action policy will be capped at $3.2 billion regardless of whether it enables Australia to meet the hitherto-bipartisan target of a 5% reduction in CO2-equivalent emissions by 2020.”

    25 Apr 2014

    “Environment Minister Greg Hunt has unveiled the white paper on the central component of Direct Action, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).

    Mr Hunt also revealed an extra $1 billion will be allocated to the fund in the May budget, in keeping with the initial policy costing released in the 2010 election campaign.”

    Out in the climate boondoggles, there is never enough money to fight global warming.

  38. handjive

    An unloved budget from environment groups
    Sara Phillips
    ABC environment, 14 May 2014

    “More than $2.5 billion was assigned to the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund — the pool of money funding the government’s Direct Action policy on climate change. And funding for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) has been reinstated, after being cut by the previous Labor government.”

    Who knows how much money is being wasted?
    You can’t believe a word any of them say.

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