Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader
When the Premier sent the issue of MPs' salaries off to the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, he must have known it would result in a huge pay rise. Now he's written to Legislative Councillors begging them to get his government out of the fix that it has created for itself.
The Premier has sniffed the political breeze, realised a 10.5% pay rise is untenable and completely out of touch with the community, and is now begging the Upper House to get him out of the mess. It is a mess entirely of his own making.
The Premier is frantically backpedalling, hoping the Legislative Council will save his political skin.
There is no certainty MLCs will do what he asks, and every likelihood they will refuse the Premier's request and allow through the TIC determination that grants a 10.5% pay rise to all Members of Parliament.
We haven't heard the argument yet from the Premier as to why he wouldn't link MPs pay to public servants' pay, as the Greens suggested. The Greens believe Members of Parliament are public servants and our salaries should reflect state wages policy.
Because the Liberals sent this issue to the Industrial Commission, we're faced with a situation where MPs may be forced to take the 10.5% pay rise or give it to a worthy cause, as the Greens MPs have committed to doing.
Government ministers may find themselves in the awkward position of negotiating with public sector workers, like doctors, nurses and police officers, about their pay conditions, all while they are pocketing an extra 10.5% themselves.
This farce over MPs' pays is a mess entirely of the government's making. They sent the matter to the TIC and didn't have the courage to say no to the potential pay rise in the beginning.
Everything the Premier said in his letter to the Legislative Council and everything he says in tomorrow's debate on the disallowance motion needs to be taken with a grain of salt.