Joe Hockey was warned about “double-dipping” after it became clear that he could possibly access his generous parliamentary retirement while also being paid hundreds of thousands of Dollars as a diplomat.
After being made treasurer in September’s Malcolm Turnbull roll, the former treasurer quit parliament last week. Although he is widely expected to be Australia’s next ambassador, no official announcement has been made.
Nick Xenophon is an independent senator from South Australia and has stated that he will introduce legislation to prevent former politicians, who were given a diplomatic position, from accessing their pensions in addition to their salaries.
“If you’re going be an ambassador earning a quarter million dollars a year representing Australia’s interests with all benefits, why shouldn’t you be able double dip with a parliamentary retirement as well?” Xenophon asked reporters Sunday.
“It’s not possible, it’s offensive for ordinary Australians who cannot access this type of benefit. Joe Hockey can set an example if he believes the age of entitlement has passed.
After News Corp Jones Racing reported Hockey could simultaneously access his parliamentary pension, and ambassador’s salary, he made the statement.
Hockey took a strong stance against parents who have access to paid parental leave programs from their employer, as well as the government. They were called “double dippers”
He said that he thought it unfair that someone could be paid by the taxpayers for a paid parental scheme. This would have been an employee of government. Then they could go to Centrelink and receive another paid parental scheme funded by taxpayers. We think double-dipping is unfair.
John Howard claims Joe Hockey “was wrong” if he blasted former PM’s economic policies
John Howard, former prime minister, has spoken out in defense of his economic legacy. He said he didn’t understand “what Joe Hockey was feeling” when he complained about the age-old entitlement.
In a 2012 speech, the former treasurer declared Australia’s “age” of entitlement dead. He argued for tax cuts to curb government handouts to taxpayers.
Lateline was informed by Mr Howard that Mr Hockey was wrong if he was referring to welfare measures he introduced as prime minister.
“I don’t know what Joe was muttering about, but if Joe was muttering about the Howard government’s budget surpluses that left the country in a position where we could withstand the effects [global financial crises], he was completely wrong.”
The Honourable Joe Hockey, Australia’s Ambassador to America, took up his post in Washington in January 2016.
Hockey has had a distinguished and long career in public service. Hockey was the first to enter Parliament as the Member for North Sydney in 1996. He spent more than 17 years on the front bench.
Hockey was a Minister in many different portfolios, including Financial Services, Small Business and Tourism and Human Services and Employment and Workplace Relations.