A $120,000 pension and 10 return business-class flights a year: The perks of retired politicians that cost taxpayers $40 million a year - but they still want MORE
- Four ex-MPs want to be paid more than their $120,000-a-year pensions
- They will this week argue in the High Court for a boost to entitlements
- They are using the same obscure law as the Kerrigan family in The Castle
- Retired MP pensions and perks already cost taxpayers $40 million a year
Retired politicians already cost the Australian taxpayer $40 million a year but that number could balloon by millions if four of them get their way.
The elderly quartet will this week argue before Australia's High Court that changes to the controversial MP pension scheme robbed them of cash and more free travel.
As they were elected before 2004, Labor's Barry Cunningham, Tony Lamb and Barry Cohen, and Liberal John Moore are entitled to the most generous retirement benefits.
Retired politicians already cost the Australian taxpayer $40 million a year but that number could balloon by millions if four of them, like John Moore (pictured), get their way
The elderly quartet, including Barry Cohen (pictured) will this week argue before the High Court that changes to the MP pension scheme robbed them of cash and more free travel
They receive pensions of between $80,000 and $118,000 annually and get 10 free return business class flights a year.
Under changes made by Julia Gillard, they are paid a percentage of the pre-2011 MP salary of $154,000 but they claim it should be based on the current salary of $199,000 - and have unlimited flights.
They cited section 51 of the Australian constitution, claiming the changes were an unlawful acquisition of their property by the Commonwealth.
They receive pensions of between $80,000 and $118,000 annually and get 10 free return business class flights a year
They are using the same obscure piece of law used by the Kerrigan family in classic Australian comedy The Castle (pictured) to fend off developers trying to take their house
It is the same obscure piece of law used by the Kerrigan family in classic Australian comedy The Castle to fend off developers trying to take their house.
The government argues the pensions do not count as property and Parliament has the power to change them at will.
The four MPs demands are despite them only having earned a small fraction of that in superannuation during their parliamentary careers.
Mr Lamb only paid $35,297 to his super his his seven years as an MP but has so far been paid more than $1.3 million since he retired in 1990.
If the MPs are successful in their challenge it would open the door to up to 350 retired MPs, like disgraced former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop (pictured), to claim higher payments
Ms Bishop was ousted after it was discovered she claimed $5,000 for a helicopter flight (pictured) from Melbourne to Geelong
If the MPs are successful in their challenge it would open the door to up to 350 retired MPs and 100 spouses, plus more who are still in office, to claim higher payments.
MPs who were ministers or held other prestigious posts get higher pensions, like former Speaker Bronwyn Bishop who gets an estimated $255,000 a year.
The 10 free flights allowance costs about $1 million a year with retired MPs running up huge tabs on personal travel.
Former Speaker Peter Slipper (pictured) enjoyed $8,557.16 in free flights in the second half of 2014
Former Gillard government minister Nicola Roxon (pictured) charged taxpayers $,6860.82 over the same six months
According to Department of Finance records, former Speaker Peter Slipper enjoyed $8,557.16 in free flights in the second half of 2014.
Former Gillard government minister Nicola Roxon charged taxpayers $,\6,860.82 over the same six months and former Nationals MP Ron Boswell claimed $6,597.13.
MPs who were elected before 2004 also got a 'resettlement allowance' of three months salary after they were voted out, and six months if they had served more than one term.
More than 187,000 Australians signed an online petition this year calling for the scheme to be scrapped altogether.
WHO ARE THESE JOKERS WHO WANT MORE TAXPAYER CASH?
Barry Cunningham - $92,400 a year
A former Labor backbench MP from Victoria who spent 12 years in Parliament from 1980 to 1990 and then 1993 to 1996. He was at one time the government whip.
Tony Lamb - $81,000 a year
Also a former Labor backbench MP from Victoria who for a time served as government whip. He was in Parliament from 1972 and 1975 and then 1984 to 1990.
Barry Cohen - $115,000 a year, plus ministerial bonuses
A former Labor MP from NSW who was minister for home affairs, environment and arts under Bob Hawke, serving from 1969 to 1990.
John Moore - $115,000 a year, plus ministerial bonuses
A former Liberal MP from Queensland who was a minster under Malcolm Fraser and John Howard, including defence minister, serving from 1975 to 2001.
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