24 January 2009

Rudd gives advisers bonus despite wages warning

Within two days of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd appealing to Australian workers to hold off wage increase claims, news has emerged that two of his senior advisers received secret bonus payments to bolster their already healthy salaries.

One of the recipients is Mr Rudd's chief of staff, 29-year-old Alister Jordan, who has an annual income of around $250,000 with superannuation and overtime, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Earlier this week, Rudd warned Australian workers not to demand pay rises and to do their bit to help the economy stay afloat.

Speaking at a function at Kiribilli House, Rudd warned that Australians are in for a tough period financially.

"Things will get worse before they get better. I can tell you that 2009 is going to be a tough year," he said. "In these times, employers must do their utmost to protect their workers from dismissal, knowing that these workers will serve them well when times turn good again. Workers, too, must restrain any wage claims."

Opposition politicians branded pay deal a "poke in the eye" to working families.

"Kevin Rudd's secretive pay deal for his senior staff is a poke in the eye to working families at a time when Australians are worried about their own financial security," Liberal Senator Michael Ronaldson told the newspaper.

But support for the payments has come from within Mr Rudd's ministry.

"Approval of personal staff salaries above the band is a mechanism available to governments and oppositions... and should be used in exceptional circumstances," Special Minister of State John Faulkner said.

The annual salary for a principal adviser is paid at a top level of $192,000.

Meanwhile, the PM said yesterday that his government will do whatever it can to assist banks with securing funding amid reports of a $75 billion funding hole.

"In just over one month between September and October the banks’ cost of obtaining credit increased by about five times in Australia, as well as the US," Rudd said. "Since then, credit conditions have eased a little, due to extraordinary measures taken overseas and here. Nevertheless, credit remains restricted."

He added that while Australian banks are in good shape, the poor health of global banks, particularly those in the US and Europe, are causing funding issues.

"Some cash-strapped foreign banks are scaling back their lending in foreign markets such as Australia," he said. "If banks do not allow clients to re-finance as they would in normal conditions, then companies can be forced to sell assets, often at low value. This endangers their financial health and that of the whole economy."

If foreign banks do not re-finance these loans, Rudd said, local banks would find it difficult to fill the gap alone.

ninemsn money 21 Jan 2009


Quite simply put a deal where money for mates is misappropriated.

The penalties they oppose upon us, they reward themselves with.

A Law above the commoners.

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