It’s a cost-of-living crisis so what does Albo do? Lines up a whopping $214k pay rise for the new Governor General… because the mansions and travel perks just aren’t enough

So slap bang in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis what does the Albanese government do?

It asks parliament to approve a whopping $214,000 pay rise for the incoming Governor General Sam Mostyn.

And that’s not even a joke.

The current GG David Hurley earns a mere $495,000, but that’s not good enough according to Labor.

The assistant minister to the PM, Patrick Gorman, has tabled legislation seeking parliamentary support from the Opposition and the crossbench to bump Mostyn’s salary from $495,000 to $709,000 when she starts the new job on Monday.

Incoming Governor General Sam Mostyn and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese have been good friends for years and champion the same causes 

Mostyn will enjoy staying at Yarralumla  - the Governor-General's residence in Canberra -  during her five-year term

Mostyn will enjoy staying at Yarralumla  – the Governor-General’s residence in Canberra –  during her five-year term 

The old GG’s salary was more than cabinet ministers earn. The new one is more than the Prime Minister earns.

Never mind that Australia has been in a per capita recession for five consecutive quarters. Or that families are struggling with cost-of-living pressures and the Budget is forecast to blow debt further out in the coming years.

And unlike the law of gravity, when it comes to political entitlements what goes up doesn’t come back down. This inflated salary, if passed into law, will become the minimum benchmark for what future GG’s earn. Even if former judges and generals return to the fold with their commonwealth pensions. 

If nothing else I’m insulted by the political stupidity of the Albanese government wanting to do this right now.

It makes Tony Abbott’s knighting of Prince Philip look like a master stroke. At least he didn’t do it during a cost-of-living crisis, and the role didn’t come with a salary. 

What is its possible logic for giving such a huge pay rise to a ceremonial position like the GG’s?

Because most former GG’s benefited from commonwealth super schemes and  Mostyn does not, Labor thinks it’s only fair that she gets a pay rise.

But hang on, there are a number of problems with this.

Mostyn also gets to kick back at Admiralty House - the Governor-General's residence in Sydney - and admire the harbour views over her five-year term

Mostyn also gets to kick back at Admiralty House – the Governor-General’s residence in Sydney – and admire the harbour views over her five-year term

For a start it speaks to Labor’s entitlement ethos. The job isn’t good enough at the existing salary? A $214,000 – or 43 per cent – pay rise passes the political snuff test? Seriously.

There is a reason former judges and military types get commonwealth pensions. Because they actually were judges and military officers. Mostyn wasn’t, so why compensate her for something she didn’t do?

What’s next, appoint a former bank CEO as GG but pay them $10million a year as compensation for leaving their well paid banking gig?

Poll

Does the new GG Sam Mostyn deserves a $214k pay rise?

  • Yes, it’s the fair thing to do 2 votes
  • No, absolutely not 83 votes

It’s mind numbingly crazy.

It also forgets that Australians who spend a lifetime in the military, for example, earn much lower wages as public servants of their country. That’s one reason they enjoy generous retirement benefits.

Mostyn has spent her career working in private practice, earning the higher wages and bonuses that go with that.

Just a few years ago she was named Australia’s most influential company director – roles that earn large pay off the back of the even larger executive wages earned to be considered for senior board roles.

That’s why she doesn’t already receive a commonwealth entitlement. Which, by the way, will change after her term as GG I imagine.

That’s also before you consider all the other perks that come with the role. The travel, the houses on Sydney’s waterfront and in the heart of Canberra with massive grounds.

Thinking Mostyn also needs a $214,000 increase in the salary she’s about to earn is nuts.

All for a ceremonial appointment Anthony Albanese made as a captain’s pick. Albo and Mostyn have been close for years championing like-minded causes.

There is a reason former judges and military types get commonwealth pensions. Because they actually were judges and military officers. Mostyn wasn't, so why compensate her for something she didn't do?

There is a reason former judges and military types get commonwealth pensions. Because they actually were judges and military officers. Mostyn wasn’t, so why compensate her for something she didn’t do?

This is a Labor government decision. A prime minister’s decision. It’s not independently determined by the remuneration tribunal. It is Labor legislation being put before the parliament by the PM’s assistant minister.

They own this stupidity. There is no hiding from it.

I’m thinking of having a chat to the boss here at Daily Mail Australia about a pay rise. 

I just realised that because I haven’t served my country in uniform I can’t top the salary I agreed to come work here for with a commonwealth pension those who spend two decades in the military receive.

It’s a struggle.

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