Prime Minister's weasel words on ADF pay exposed

The Prime Minister’s justification in cutting the real wages of ADF personnel has been exposed, with revelations public servants employed at the Future Fund have been awarded a three per cent pay rise – double the 1.5 per cent pay offer for ADF personnel.

Yesterday in Question Time, the Prime Minister claimed:

I give this commitment: no public sector worker will be paid at a higher rate of increase than our defence forces. Our defence forces will be given the respect that they deserve from this government by being paid at the very top of what is possible at these times.

Tony Abbott – Question Time – 1 December 2014

However, evidence given at Senate Estimates in November showed Future Fund employees recently received an average of 3 per cent pay increases, excluding performance pay bonuses.

Mr Neal: I think the best way to describe that is to say that they go by merit. Across all of the staff, there was a general inflationary type increase, and then people who had moved between roles, moved up in roles to more responsible positions would have got an incremental increase over that.

Senator XENOPHON: Sure, but assuming they were in the same position, the same role, what was the increase for June this year, overall?

Mr Neal: Assuming they are in the same role and there was no material change to that role, the increase we gave was three per cent on average. There were some slight changes to that, but it was three per cent.

Senator XENOPHON: Right. So it was not, say, 10 per cent, for instance?

Mr Neal: No. Three per cent was the general increase.

Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee – 20 November 2014

This exposes Tony Abbott’s so-called justification for this real pay cut as a lie.

He is cutting the real wages of our service men and women by offering a below-inflation pay increase of 1.5 percent per year.

The Prime Minister has been dragged kicking and screaming to reverse his unfair decision to cut the ADF’s Christmas and Recreation leave, and other entitlements.

Labor, independent Senators, community activists, and Defence support groups have all pressured the Prime Minister over this unfair offer.

The Abbott Government still has a long way to go in listening to widespread concerns in the Defence community.

It is time for the Prime Minister to back down fully and pay our defence personnel fairly.

This campaign will continue - there is money in the Budget to pay our ADF personnel a wage that keeps up with the cost of living.

Our servicemen and women shouldn’t have to fight the Abbott Government for a fair pay deal.

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