Let's bring ex-Prime Ministers’ “entitlements” into line with community expectations.

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There are currently seven living ex-Prime Ministers in Australia, which may become eight at the upcoming election. The Remuneration Tribunal was given the task to set ex-Prime Ministerial entitlements to “cleverly” deflect public attention and perceived responsibility for the magnitude of these entitlements away from the politicians themselves. Since then, and as expected, ex-Prime Ministerial entitlements have flourished under the public’s radar. The obscenity of ex-Prime Ministerial entitlements has been magnified in recent times by both governments’ revolving door of short-term leaders, some of whom have been ordinary at best and some have made mistakes which have cost Australia dearly.
Estimates of ex-Prime Ministerial entitlements are in the region of $400,000-$500,000 per year. This of course is taxpayer funded. This figure comprises an annual “salary” of about $200,000 per year for life and which, on their death, transfers to their surviving spouse for their lifetime, albeit at a modestly reduced amount. In addition, every ex-Prime Minister is entitled to taxpayer funded advisors, office and associated staff, domestic and international travel, and use of a government vehicle and driver. If an ex-Prime Minister takes full advantage, the cost of these perks could reach $200,000 to $300,000 per year for the rest of their life. Apparently, the eligibility for some of these entitlements can be determined by the incoming Prime Minister who, no doubt, considers their political end in such a determination.
All recent Prime Ministers have been critical of the obscene salaries and retirement packages of, for example, big bank CEOs. These extreme termination payments are, however, only given once. Ex-Prime Ministers can receive $4 to $5 million tax payer funded entitlements every 10 years for the remainder of their lives. Multiply that by 7 or 8 and the taxpayer funded savings are enormous. As we have so often heard from political leaders, “the age of entitlement” and “concessions for the top end of town” are over. The hypocrisy is blatant.
The annual “salary” of an ex-Prime Minister is very generous by international standards. Ex-Prime Ministers seem to have no difficulty generating income from, for example, writing books and accepting consultancies and appointments to boards and international institutes and paid speaking appearances, including party political speeches internationally. Surely our ex-Prime Ministers are capable of getting a “real job” after politics and should not be reliant on a taxpayer funded “gravy train”.
Before the upcoming Federal election, the aspiring Prime Ministers should justify and convince the Australian public of the worth of ex-Prime Ministers to tax payers. A failure to do so should result in legislation to reduce ex-Prime Ministerial entitlements in line with public expectations.