Townsville-based Senator Ian Macdonald has welcomed the announcement today by the Prime Minister that Australian Defence Force personnel will be offered a 2 per cent pay increase which will keep soldiers’ pay above the current 1.7 per cent rate of inflation.
The Government will ask the Chief of the Defence Force and the Public Service Minister to seek the Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal’s agreement to vary the terms of the current Workplace Remuneration Agreement.
Senator Macdonald said that the Tribunal’s previous recommendation came completely from left field and was greeted with disbelief in Coalition circles.
“From the moment the decision was made I have been raising this matter with the Prime Minister and at Party Room Meetings, pointing out the unfairness of the decisions in relation to these entitlements.
“I am delighted that the government has listened to the concerns raised by its own members.
“Because of Labor’s debt mania, Australian taxpayers are now paying $1 billion a month in interest on the debt run up by the previous government,” said the Senator.
The Senator said that everyone has to tighten their belt to try and pay off Labor’s debt otherwise future generations will be burdened with interest and debt repayments that were run up by their parents and grandparents.
“Salary increases paid to Defence Personnel, however, should be more than that paid to others on the Government Payroll like Public Servants and Politicians,” he said.
Politicians have accepted a pay freeze for 12 months and hopefully the Public Service will do the same.
“But it is good to see the Government has responded to discussions with the Defence Forces and representations by Coalition MPs and Senators to review the Leave and other Entitlements suggested by the Remuneration Tribunal,” said Senator Macdonald.