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An Australia Day challenge to the Prime Minister

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John Hewson MEDIA RELEASE Leader of the Opposition

8/93 25 January 1993


A genuine sense of fairness is one of the enduring qualities of the Australian character that we rightly celebrate on Australia Day.

Our National Day is also a very fitting occasion on which to re-dedicate ourselves to the importance of fairness in Australian life.

There is nothing fair about the continued excessive size and cost of government in the context of the pain and hardship which millions of Australians are enduring in this worst recession for sixty years.

There's nothing fair about Parliamentarians being protected personally from the impact of the recession when so many others in the community are not.

So, I challenge the Prime Minister, in the interests of basic fairness, to match the Coalition's commitment to:

- reduce by 10% the total budget for Parliamentarians' staff, electorate offices, travel expenses, stationery, telephones and postage expenses.

- reduce by 10% the pay of all Ministers and Parliamentary office holders, and freeze their salaries at the lower level for the next three years.

Under a Hewson Government, the Prime Minister would get a pay cut of $10,684 and Ministers a pay cut of $4,672.

If the Prime Minister is fair dinkum about fairness then he will endorse Fightback's cuts in Ministerial salaries and show that he really cares about the victims of the recession - instead of just talking about it.

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