23 February 2023
Mr Warren McCann
Victorian Independent Remuneration Tribunal
Suite 1, Ground Floor
1 Treasury Place
Melbourne VIC 3000
Dear Mr McCann
Consultation paper – Members of Parliament (Victoria) salaries and allowances Determination 2023
Thank you for the opportunity to provide a submission on the Tribunal’s consultation paper. As Relevant Officers for work-related parliamentary allowances, we provide the following input for the Tribunal’s consideration.
Potential roll-in of expense allowance into additional salary (Consultation Paper, page 19)
The Tribunal seeks input on whether part or all of the expense allowance should be rolled into the additional salary for eligible office holders and the advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
We do not have a view on this change, but thought it may be helpful to outline how we currently deal with expense allowances, and raise an area where the Tribunal may wish to provide further clarity.
Under the Tribunal’s Determination, some specified parliamentary office holders are provided only an additional salary and some are provided an additional salary and an expense allowance.
Under section 6(3) of the Parliamentary Salaries, Allowances and Superannuation Act 1968:
A Member who concurrently holds more than one specified parliamentary office is only entitled to receive one additional salary, being the highest additional salary to which the Member is entitled.
The Act is silent on how to treat a member who concurrently holds more than one specified parliamentary office that receives an expense allowance. Our current practice is to not pay the same member multiple expense allowances, but to pay the member the highest expense allowance to which the member is entitled, consistent with the principle in section 6(3). The office that receives the highest expense allowance can be different to the office that receives the highest additional salary.
If the Tribunal proceeds with rolling in the expense allowance into additional salary, the Tribunal may need to consider the impact on members who concurrently hold more than one specified parliamentary office.
If the Tribunal decides to retain additional salaries and expense allowances for office holders, we would appreciate the Tribunal providing some clarity around how members who hold more than one specified parliamentary office should be treated — whether a member should be paid the highest expense allowance to which the member is entitled, or whether they should be paid multiple expense allowances.
We thank you for the opportunity to provide this submission, and would be happy to meet with you and the Tribunal members to discuss these matters further.
Clerk of the Legislative Council
Clerk of the Legislative Assembly
Parliament of Victoria
+61 3 9651 8911
Spring Stteet, East Melbourne
Victoria 3002 Australia