catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Are the greens greedy capitalists like the rest of us?

with 8 comments

The Canberra Times (sorry no link) has been running a story over the past couple of days about the “Leader” of the Greens in the ACT Legislative Assembly, Meredith Hunter, wanting a salary increase of $50,000 to “cover new Assembly workload”. She claimed that the increase was needed to compensate her for managing the three other Greens MLAs (the irony being that there are many people on a total salary of $50,000 who manage three or more people and the ACT assembly is just a sleepy local council).

Now we shouldn’t be too concerned about this normally – after all self-interest is a powerful motivator and she is clearly seeing an opportunity to increase her standards of living.

But, really, isn’t this a little hypocritical when the Greens have been banging on about excessive executive salaries and  corporate greed?

On the ACT Greens website, the biographical entry states

I will be working hard to better engage the electorate of Ginninderra, and all citizens of the ACT in the decisions Government makes. Throughout my life I have been a strong advocate on social justice issues and have worked in community organisations in Canberra for twenty years. I have extensive experience raising awareness and promoting issues of social justice in the public arena. I am also a skilled and experienced advocate, having served on a variety of committees and task forces.

I have worked to ensure that the interests and rights of the disadvantaged and vulnerable are taken into account. My career has given me a sound understanding of the importance of the community sector and the breadth of services delivered by small self-help groups through to larger community services. I am formerly the director of the Youth Coalition of the ACT. As a mother of three, I understand the importance of having an excellent public education system as well as the provision and upkeep of playgrounds and sporting venues. I have a deep appreciation of the unique urban/bush environment that we live in, the clean air and the bush corridors that provide important recreation places for many Canberrans.

This makes it seem that Ms Hunter is a philanthropist looking after the disadvantaged and vulnerable. But she clearly wants to be highly paid for that.

It is notable that Ms Hunter did not put out a media release saying that the efficiency dividend should not apply to MLA salaries  MLA salaries.

Come on Hunter, just admit you’re in it for yourself like the rest of us.

Written by Samuel J

January 13, 2010 at 7:13 am

Posted in Uncategorized

8 Responses

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  1. Anyone remember former ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey, who got very stroppy indeed when it was suggested once she started pulling down a parliamentary salary she no longed needed to live in public housing?

    Christian Kerr

    January 13, 2010 at 9:54 am

  2. But, really, isn’t this a little hypocritical when the Greens have been banging on about excessive executive salaries and corporate greed?

    Not unless you think $50k constitutes an ‘excessive’ salary. Considering you’d struggle to live in a major city on that wage, there might be factors other than greed at play.


    January 13, 2010 at 10:56 am

  3. Normally I’d say ‘if you pay peanuts you get monkeys’. This is one of the reasons Singapore has among the world’s highest paid pollies and they are super-competent. In this case, the ACT is just a glorified local council.


    January 13, 2010 at 11:04 am

  4. THR She wants an additional $50K, not just $50K. Presumably she is already on $100K or so, plus perks. SO she wants a 50% pay rise. Don’t let you lefty reflex make you forget to read properly:)

    Rococo Liberal

    January 13, 2010 at 11:11 am

  5. Jason

    I agree. Either you should pay politicians large salaries or nothing at all. Personally, I prefer the latter. The great 19th century statemaen never got paid and did much better at running the country and keeping the government out of our licves than their modern counterparts.

    Rococo Liberal

    January 13, 2010 at 11:13 am

  6. At first blush, Meredith has a point. Why do the leaders of the major parties get paid additional money over and above their Assembly stipends ? Maybe the other leaders should have their’s cut ?
    Then again, they all being paid someone else’s taxes to perform the task of allocating someone else’s taxes. The major sources of these taxes are from federal grants that divvy up the GST. What if their salaries were more dependent on the economic performance of the region for which they have responsibility. Suddenly there is a problem, as a major part of Canberra’s function is to absorb and redistribute taxes ( and try to look good while doing so).


    January 13, 2010 at 11:37 am

  7. drscroogemcduck

    January 13, 2010 at 11:38 am

  8. She can’t make on $114,000 and her party has been hitting private forms about “excessive’ comp? Screw her. I’d actually look to reduce her current salary by $50,000.

    I agree that pols need to be well comped, but not the greens. Those idiots need to be motivated out of politics.


    January 13, 2010 at 11:57 am

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