Costigan’s pay rise up for review
WHITSUNDAY MP Jason Costigan was on track for a financial windfall until Tuesday’s State Government back-flip on a proposed 42 per cent pay rise for Queensland MP’s.
If the suggested pay rises had been implemented, Mr Costigan’s base salary would have risen from $137,149 to $194,630 – an increase of $57,481.
His boss, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, would have been paid $398,271, up $117,623 from his former base salary of $280,648.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney, who would also have been more than $100k better off, claimed the former Premier Anna Bligh had been underpaying MP’s.
Mr Seeney said Crown legal advice showed a pay freeze on MP’s wages in 2009 was unlawful.
Just last week, Mr Seeney declared that the Queensland Government would “strenuously resist” any claims for back pay.
He also said the Government had moved quickly to rectify the situation in a way that would be “cost neutral” to the state budget.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk described the pay rise proposal as an arrogance that Queenslanders would never forget.
“The Opposition understands that many Queensland families are struggling to make ends meet, while the LNP has been arrogantly focused on massive pay rises for politicians,” she said.
The reason for Tuesday’s change of heart was the emergence of "uncomfortable" figures, showing base salary increases would be linked to entitlements paid to MP’s.
Mr Seeney said Cabinet would need to consider a number of options to address this issue at the next sitting of Parliament in August.
Whatever the outcome, Mr Costigan says he doesn’t do his job for the money.
“I took on this job to make a difference,” he said.
“I do this job because I’m passionate about my community and its people. That’s what motivates me.”
PAY REVIEW: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan.