Costi­gan’s pay rise up for re­view

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.

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