Pensions. Quite probably, it’s all about pensions.
Let’s have a read of Independent MP, Rob Oakeshott.
Independent Rob Oakeshott also issued a warning to the Labor Party not to move on Ms Gillard’s leadership, declaring it could prompt him to pull the pin on the Government.
“From my perspective if the Labor Party organisation wants to mess with Julia Gillard, the Labor Party organisation is messing with people such as myself,” Mr Oakeshott told The Sunday Mail.
OK. So maybe he thinks he’s vying for some street cred. Who knows? Because Oakeshott’s best chance of survival would actually be to go against the Gillard government at this stage, gain kudos, and maybe, just maybe, win his seat again at the next election.
Not so for fellow Independent MP and the government’s other crutch, Tony Windsor, however. He needs the Gillard government to hang on to the bitter end.
You see, a federal member of parliament needs to slug it out for twelve years before they can get their juicy pension.
1.11 On retirement from Parliament, a Senator or Member is entitled to a pension if:
(a) 12 or more years service has been completed;
(b) the member has on four occasions ceased to be a member on the dissolution or expiration of the House of which he or she was a member, or on the expiration of a term of office; or
(c) retirement is involuntary, and the member has completed not less than eight years service, or has on three occasions ceased to be a member on the dissolution of the House of which he or she was then a member, or on the expiration of term of office.
1.12 The effect of (b) and (c) is that a Senator or Member with less than eight years service who qualifies is deemed to have completed eight years service.
1.14 While the PCSS is primarily a defined benefit pension scheme, up to 50 per cent of a pension entitlement can be commuted to a lump sum benefit. The minimum pension is 50 per cent of backbench salary (based on eight years service), and the maximum is 75 per cent of backbench salary (after 18 years service).
That’s 50% of $136,640 per year, so Windsor is entitled to at least $68,320 per year of federal parliamentary pension for the rest of his life if he can make it to the next election.
Windsor assumed office on 10 November 2001, and the next federal election can technically wait until 30 November 2013.
That’s just over the 12 years Windsor needs to get his second fat government pension (he already gets one valued at at least $70,000 per year from the NSW parliament).
[...]any [NSW] MP who served seven years or more before 1999 can take home a minimum of around $70,000 a year for the rest of their lives – and up to $150,000 if they served most of their time as a Minister.
Windsor served just over 10 years in the NSW parliament beginning in 1991.
If he can hang in there, he’ll be on around $140,000 per year of our taxpayer dollars for life.
Thus, Windsor’s stalling tactic – and it is – begins to make a lot more sense.
And he sold his farm to a coal mining company (irony anyone, considering the Big Issue here is a carbon tax?) for a cool $4.625 million.
As for Oakeshott, either he’s an idiot who doesn’t realise he’s being played by Gillard and Windsor, or he’s Australia’s first Kamikaze federal member. He only assumed office in 2008, and therefore has about as much chance of getting his tidy federal pension as an F1 car has of completing the Dakar Rally.
…He decides to vote against the government, which would trigger an election, gain him some of that street cred he so desperately wants and needs, and maybe, just maybe, give him a chance of being re-elected.
So what’s it going to be for Oakeshott? Save himself and help the nation as a whole, or go down in flames protecting the likes of Windsor and Gillard – both of whom will do quite nicely anyway if given the sack?
If personal loyalties are making it hard, Oakeshott would do well to remember Windsor’s “coal farm” deal, Windsor’s NSW government pension, Windor’s looming Fed pension, and the chances of Oakeshott getting his own.
If only either of those two “men” had any real conscience.
Via comments, it appears I should have paid more attention to article 1.13. Windsor, a federal member since 2001, only needs to stand at the next election.
1.13 The essence of qualification for a pension is 12 years for voluntary retirement and eight years for those who retire involuntarily. Four and three parliamentary terms respectively equate to those periods of 12 and eight years.
Still means Oakeshott is shot unless he has a brainwave…
UPDATE II (now that there’s more time)
First up, sorry about missing clause 1.13 when doing the copy/paste. Not sure how that happened. But yes, noting that clause washes away the easy answer as to why Windsor would continue to support Australia’s hamstrung government (i.e. he needs to hang in there until at least November 10, 2013, 20 days before the latest possible date for an election).
1: It can’t be he believes in man-made global warming, “carbon pollution”, or a carbon (dioxide!) tax. After all, he sold his farm to a coal mining company.
2: We’ve established – albeit belatedly ( ) – it’s not so he can collect his fat federal pension; he’ll almost definitely get that anyway.
3: It can’t be in the hopes he’ll be re-elected; his electorate (conservative New England) is most likely going to wipe their collective bum with his how-to-vote cards.
4: And surely Windsor is well aware Australia is suffering its most dysfunctional government in a generation.
The only answer I can come up with is ego. Pure ego. He’s reveling the misplaced power that is currently being bestowed on him. He’s reveling the attention (and hasn’t seemed to have figured out most of it is negative).**
As for Oakeshott, well, maybe he does believe in AGW. However points 2, 3, and 4 would apply to him as much as they do to Windsor.
Again. Ego. It has to be his ego – ergo why he is still there and voting with Labor.
And utter stupidity. As mentioned above, the only way I can see Oakeshott retaining his seat is if he crosses the floor (so to speak).
He hasn’t. He most likely won’t. Thus, the man is an idiot.*
In the meantime, working families continue to be shafted.
*Or will he “cross” just prior to the next election thus enabling him to keep the power he has now whilst also coming across as the man who saved the day?
It’s doubtful his electorate and the greater public would buy that. A fair chunk of the MSM might, though.
**Surely Windsor isn’t letting the country fall to its knees just for an NBN hookup so teenage boys can watch live-streaming porn?
Surely it’s not Windsor still wanting to get back at the Nationals, right???