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Politician pay cut call not helpful: Morrison


The Morrison government has rejected calls for politicians and public servants to take a pay cut as the country deals with the economic fallout of coronavirus.

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The federal government has asked the Remuneration Tribunal to put a pay freeze in place for 12 months.

But a cut is not being contemplated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said salaries made up a tiny percentage of the federal budget, however, he would consider changes if necessary.

“I know people are taking a hard hit every day in their businesses,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday.

“But I don’t think it’s actually helpful in a crisis to start having people turn on each other about who’s getting what.”

A number of Australian workers have agreed with their employers to take cuts of around 10 per cent of their wages during the crisis, while others have lost their jobs.

But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said a pay cut for politicians and bureaucrats wouldn’t make much of a difference.

“I think MPs and public servants are working very hard right now,” Cormann told Sky News.

“I’m not sure how this sort of suggestion would help – in the context of the budget challenge it’s essentially at the margin.”

Liberal senator Eric Abetz, who froze politicians’ pay when he served former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2015, said a cut should be considered.

“Without being prescriptive, the government will need to tighten its belts and consider its priorities,” he said.

NSW Liberal MP Jason Falinski also said a pay cut would remain a live issue, but noted that many MPs were working longer hours to help constituents hit by the coronavirus pandemic.


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