Former Speaker of the House of Representatives Bronwyn Bishop will retire on $255,000 a year, plus 10 domestic return flights annually, if the 72-year-old steps down before the next election.
The generous life-time pension is paid for by taxpayers under a scheme that was subsequently changed and reduced in 2004, following an earlier outcry about the unfunded political perks of retirement.
As the former Speaker Bishop is entitled to 75% of the highest paying office held, a salary of around $350,000 a year.
While the free flights are part of the Life Gold Pass travel scheme, which has been significantly cut back in recent years. Treasurer Joe Hockey attempted to get rid of the perk in the 2014 budget but faced fierce internal resistance from fellow MPs.
Despite prime minister Tony Abbott telling Adelaide radio station 5AA that the former Speaker’s political career “is substantially at an end”, Bishop’s office told Fairfax Media that she intended to renominate for her seat at the next poll, scheduled for 2016. Bishop turns 73 in October.
The SMH has more.
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