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PM’s Indigenous Advisory Committee trims the fat while Abbott takes home the bacon by Frank Pearce 5 April 2014

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bbott and his ministry especially the treasurer Joe Hockey keep telling us all we must once again tighten our belts and act more responsibly so they can balance their budget. I have a number of questions for all of them. What part of their exorbitant salaries and perks are they going to give up by tightening their own personal belts and acting responsibily by taking pay cuts or spending less of our money on their expense accounts? Which members of their families and their children will suffer because health programs that were making a difference are cut? Which members of their families and their children who may have disabilities will suffer because programs that were making a difference are cut? Which members of their families and their children will be educationally disadvantaged because educational programs that were making a difference are cut? The current maximum pension is $421.40 per week for an individual and $635.30 for a married couple. Current rent would be a minimum of $300 per week. Add to that $150 PW for food and $100 per week minimum to cover everyday bills. That all adds up to $550 a week without factoring in medical, clothing and transportation expenses and forget about going out to the movies or the footy. Which pension age members of their families will have to live on this pittance? The answer to all of these questions is none because Tony Abbott and his wrecking crew of Ministers are advantaged not

disadvantaged. Tony Abbott enjoys a base salary for being Prime Minister of $500,000 without the perks. How is this justifiable when Barrack Obama the US president has a base salary of $400,000? Australia has a population of 23 million the US has a population of 300 million plus. As a child before I could add up and after watching many American movies I dreamt of one day being the US President. But now as an adult who can add up I would much rather be Tony Abbott who has responsibility for 270 million less people as well as not having all the responsibilities that go with being the most powerful nation on earth whilst at the same time getting $100,000 more to do my job. It’s not only Tony Abbott who should hang his head in shame, every one of our MPs are at the top level of salaries in the world and have their heads buried in the expense’s trough. This is borne out by the members of all parties who keep getting charged for rorting the expense accounts and travel budgets. A little while back they all lost a few perks like gold travel passes. So what did they do they awarded themselves a 2.4% pay rise to console themselves for their loss. If you think that is bad parliament no longer has the power to knock back or approve pay rises. Instead the

pay rises are automatic pay rises. Just in closing this article I would like to ask all those Aboriginal people or organisations that are having their funding removed or their programs abolished nationally to email this newspaper their funding cuts so it can be recorded and published. At the moment no one has a complete picture of the decimation of Aboriginal everything being wrought by this government with the advice of the National Indigenous Advisory Council. I know from long painful experience when funding is to be cut or programs are to be abolished it is always Aboriginal programs and people first. I would also ask Tony Abbott how the 5 non-Aboriginal members of his National Indigenous Advisory Council meet the terms of reference for this committee in relation to the following clause from the committee’s terms of reference. Members will have a strong understanding of Indigenous culture and bring a diversity of expertise in economic development and business acumen, employment, education, youth participation, service delivery and health. I sometimes wonder if all Governments would be much happier if we were all back on missions.

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Pm’s indigenous advisory committee trims the fat while abbott takes home the bacon