ACT politicians, public service senior executives and statutory office holders – including the Auditor-General and Electoral Commissioner – will have their pay rates frozen for 2020, along with judges at the Supreme Court and Magistrates Court.
The decision by the ACT Remuneration Tribunal took the Territory’s economic circumstances into account and followed a briefing from ACT Treasury officials and the Chief Minister, who wrote to the Tribunal in April requesting the freeze.
It means the Chief Minister’s salary will remain at $353,833 while the Deputy Chief Minister will continue to receive $303,285.
A Government Minister will continue to receive $286,436 while a standard member of the Legislative Assembly will be paid $168,492.
“Given the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on the economic conditions and community expectations, the Tribunal has determined that no adjustments should be made to the remuneration allowances and other entitlements of office holders,” the Determination said.
Allowances – such as the $25,000 motor vehicle allowance and $2500 a year for taxi and hire cars to travel to official functions – have also been frozen.
MLAs last received a 2.5 per cent pay increase on 1 July 2019. The pay increases usually account for inflation.
The pay rates of the ACT public service are not affected by the Remuneration Tribunal’s decision.
“We will not be freezing wage increases for the broader ACT public service,” Chief Minister Andrew Barr said in April.
“The ACT public service is predominately made up of frontline workers like nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, ambulance officers, teachers, police, firefighters and other emergency service members, bus drivers and city services staff.
“These staff will be working incredibly hard during the public health emergency to provide essential services to the Canberra community.”
The NSW Government sought to freeze a 2.5 per cent pay increase for its 400,000-strong public sector workforce, but the legislation was blocked in the Upper House.
General wage increases for Commonwealth public servants will be deferred for six months as they fall due, with the policy remaining in effect for 12 months from 14 April.