Big Idea Eight: benchmark senior public service pay to the Prime Minister’s

Band 1 public servants in Queensland earn a total maximum remuneration package of $695,216. The Prime Minister of Australia earns $522,000. Executive pay has outpaced community expectations of what is reasonable, and public service pay, including that of statutory authorities like universities, is also in that position.

While it is difficult, and some would argue unnecessary, for governments to do anything about what private companies are prepared to pay their executives, they can make an impact on what their own bureaucrats are paid.

Not only does this help to redirect money to where it is needed more, it sends a signal to the community as a whole.

Growth in public service salaries has outpaced growth in private sector salaries, and it is not obvious why this should be so. According to the ABS wages growth was 1.9 per cent in 2016. Contrast that to growth in Queensland public service salaries which the government is endeavouring to keep to 2.5 per cent.

This measure would do a lot to restore public faith in government.

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