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Albo grilled on eye-watering salary

Written by on June 29, 2024

Anthony Albanese has been grilled about his salary ahead of his payrise on Monday.

The Prime Minister’s salary will tick over $600,000, reaching a new height for our elected leader’s pay packet.

He was questioned about the salary, which is about nine times the median Australian wage, while on Sunrise on Saturday morning.

“Prime Minister, Monday – not a bad day to be leading the country either,” host Matt Doran said.

“Your salary, you’ll enjoy a pay rise, earning more than $600,000 a year. Given what Australians are going through, do you think that passes the pub test?”

“I recognise I’m really well off,” the Prime Minister said, adding it was an independent tribunal which set politicians’ wages.

“That’s why we made the decision to intervene in the tax cut, so that both you and I had our tax cut in half, so that people who are low and middle income earners didn’t miss out, people who are earning under $45,000.”

From Monday, Australians will pocket between $350 and $4500 in extra cash each year depending on their income bracket as part of the tax changes.

In June the independent Remuneration Tribunal announced a 3.5 per cent wage rise for federal MPs.

The Prime Minister’s salary goes up more than $20,000 under the change, to $607,471. Peter Dutton’s pay gets padded $25,000, to $432,239.

Australia’s highest paid chief executive is paid more 50 times more than the Prime Minister: Macquarie Group chief executive Shemara Wikramanayake was reportedly paid $30.4m last year.

The largest bank chief executive pay packet was CBA boss Matt Comyn with $7.3m. That sum made Mr Comyn the 19th highest paid chief executive in Australia, according to the Australian Financial Review, OpenDirector and global search firm Odgers Berndtson.

Biden v Trump debate

The Prime Minister would not be drawn on the Joe Biden versus Donald Trump debate.

Asked for his opinion as to whether President Biden was fit to hold office, Mr Albanese said the countries would work together.

“Oh, look, I think, President Biden is someone who has an important relationship with

Australia, but the US elections, of course, are a matter for the American people. And the election will take place in November, this is a relationship, not just between individuals, it’s a relationship between our two great nations. And I’m sure that it will continue to be strong into the future,” Mr Albanese said.

Former foreign minister under Labor prime ministers Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd, Bob Carr, described President Biden as having a “raspy voice and feebleness at debating” at the televised showdown this week.

“There’s nothing in presidential politics like a spill in Canberra. If this were Australian politics, he’d be dead already – there’d be a spill,” United States Studies Centre chief executive Michael Green told The Australian.

Social media ‘out of touch, arrogant and contemptuous’

In light of comments from social media executives in a parliamentary hearing this week, the Prime Minister slammed the tech companies as irresponsible and deluded.

The Joint Select Committee on Social Media and Australian Society grilled Meta, TikTok and Snapchat executives about body image, bullying and self harm issues perpetuated on the platforms.

“They just show how out of touch, how arrogant and how contemptuous they are of the legitimate concerns that every parent is expressing about this activity,” the Prime Minister said on Saturday.

At the hearing, Meta vice-president and global head of safety, Antigone Davis, said “I don’t think that social media has done harm to our children”.

The federal government has allocated $6.5m to trial age verification on social media.

The Prime Minister said young people were tech-savvy, and “you need to make sure you’re not shutting down one avenue just to send them down another dangerous road.”

“We want to make sure that they’re (restrictions) effective to protect our youngest Australians, because we know the impact it’s having on their mental health and we know it can cause a great deal of distress and anxiety.”

Digital rights groups say any age restrictions can easily be bypassed by VPNs, and say age verifications could mean adults need to prove their age online to access porn, social media and gaming websites.

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