Leading the country is, naturally, quite a large job (even though some who have held the role have seemingly not treated it as such), so it is expected that the Prime Minister would be receiving a fairly generous pay package, right? Let’s take a bit of a closer look at how it all works.
If you’re wondering where you can find details on the salary of the Prime Minister, it’s kind of a tricky business. While the information is all publically available, a quick Google search (for us, at least) brought up data on the Parliament of Australia website that is dated back to 2013 – not so useful. From here, we were directed to Australia’s Remuneration Tribunal website which houses a bunch of reports and fact sheets in this area.
Digging through these, and doing some math, will get you the final figure. It’s kind of convoluted, frankly. And its just been announced that these figures are changing as of July 1, 2022 (just as minimum wage increases by a whole dollar), so there are even more sums to be done now.
What salary does the Prime Minister earn?
Okay, so the Remuneration Tribunal (Members of Parliament) Determination paper from October 2021 states that “The annual allowance payable to a senator or member of the House of Representatives for the purposes of section 48 of the Constitution (known as ‘base salary’) is $211,250.”
There has been a Remuneration Tribunal (Members of Parliament) Determination released for 2022, and it reveals that the base salary for members of Parliament will increase by 2.75 per cent to $217,060.
The Remuneration Tribunal then has a table (titled Schedule A) that lists the office holder position, like Leader of the Opposition, and the office holder’s salary – which is listed as a percentage.
This paper explains:
The amounts in Schedule A are expressed as specified percentages of the base salary. For example, the office holder’s salary for the Speaker of the House of Representatives is $158,440 per annum, being 75% of the base salary of $211,250, rounded up to the nearest $10. [Data accurate according to the 2017 Determination.]
It also lists out details like travel allowance rates and similar, but we won’t go into all that today.
Interestingly, however, the Prime Minister is not listed in this table, meaning we need to refer to another doc to find our answer.
Enter Remuneration Tribunal Report Number 1 of 2021. This document includes a table that lists out Salary Additional to the Parliamentary Base Salary (which will be $217,060) for the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer, Leader of the Government in the Senate, Leader of the House and more.
The Prime Minister’s additional percentage of base salary is listed as 160 per cent. That works out to be $347,296. Add that to the base salary of $217,060 and you get a hefty $564,360 (rounded to the nearest $10).
The Deputy Prime Minister also lands a decent chunk of cash annually, with their additional percentage of base salary sitting at 105 per cent. Following the same math we just did, the Deputy Prime Minister is to be paid the base salary of $217,060 plus $227,913 (rounded up to the nearest $10), coming to $444,980.
If, however, the Deputy PM needs to step in as acting PM it is stated they should be paid at the rate of the Prime Minister.
Parliamentary superannuation rates
Want to know about superannuation? Per the Remuneration Tribunal and Department of Finance, the portion of salary dedicated to super for politicians is 20 per cent. Must be nice.
Are Prime Ministers paid post-retirement?
Now we know how much the Prime Minister earns, let’s take a look at post-retirement costs. Because they’re very much a thing.
The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority (IPEA) has a public record of all the expenses made by former Prime Ministers from car costs to office expenses. Technically, the concept of a pension for former members of parliament was scrapped for those entering post-2004 but substantial financial support remains. And yes, Scott Morrison will be receiving a slice.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.