Victorian politicians get 5.3 per cent raise, while wage growth slumps

Daniel Andrews' salary reportedly grew almost $19,000 to $377,624.

Daniel Andrews' salary reportedly grew almost $19,000 to $377,624. Photo: AAP

State politicians last year enjoyed a 5.3 per cent pay rise, launching Premier Daniel Andrews’ salary almost $19,000 to $377,624.

Backbenchers saw their pay packets increase by more than $8400, according to the Sunday Herald Sun.

It means the lowest salary for a state politician is now $168,526, while state ministers and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy earn more than $300,000 for the first time.

The raise was calculated by a formula brought in by the former Liberal government in 2013 in legislation supported by the then-opposition.

Salaries for politicians grew 2 per cent in 2016 under the formula. The raise was 0.5 per cent in 2015 and 2.5 per cent in 2014.

A government spokesperson passed responsibility on to the former government.

“The current pay and entitlements system is something we inherited from the former Liberal government,” the spokesperson told The New Daily in a statement on Sunday.

“We’re changing it so MPs don’t set their own salaries ever again and they’re more accountable for the entitlements they receive.”

The state government is forming an independent remuneration tribunal to review its salaries and allowances from next Parliament.

The 5.3 per cent increase vastly outstripped wage growth in the state. Victoria saw a 2.2 per cent rise in wages in the year to September, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It came after Fair Work Commission last year granted a 3.3 per cent increase on the minimum wage.

Under Labor’s reforms, the second residence allowance will also be overhauled after it was exploited by former speaker Telmo Languiller and his deputy Don Nardella.

Mr Languiller and Mr Nardella registered addresses in regional Victoria while representing electorates in western Melbourne. The allowance was intended to support politicians who live at least 80 kilometres from Melbourne and need to frequently travel for Parliament.

Mr Nardella claimed a total of $98,000 and Mr Languiller claimed about $37,800, The Age reported last year.

Mr Guy will on Tuesday move to establish a committee to review the rorts, according to the Legislative Assembly agenda.

Allowances will also be published on the Parliament website every quarter under the new laws. The tribunal’s decisions would also be published online.

The New Daily has contacted the opposition for comment.

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