Getting blood from a stone…
… must be something Oz’s chief tax collector believes he really excels at, because he’s asking for an extra $300,000 a year for it. No, not $300,000 but an extra $300,000 – he already gets (I won’t say ‘earns’) half a million.
AUSTRALIA’S top tax official has come under sustained attack in a Senate hearing for lobbying to get himself a 58 per cent pay rise.
Tax Commissioner Michael D’Ascenzo is at present paid just over half a million dollars.
He has written to the Remuneration Tribunal asking for a package of around $800,000 to bring himself into line with other agency heads such as the head of the Securities and Investments Commission and the Competition and Consumer Commission.
Well if it’s just a matter of bringing into line there’s a perfectly good solution, though the heads of ASIC and the ACCC wouldn’t like it, but to be honest I don’t see why any bringing into line is necessary. If the job’s worth a minimum of $800,000 then they wouldn’t have been able to get anyone to do it for less. As it is Michael D’Ascenzo was prepared to do it for half a million and is now having an attack of the sads because some other people get more. I’d hope the tribunal recommend dropping the salary by the exact amount he wants it raised and seeing if anyone still wants the job.
Asked by Labor senator Doug Cameron how much extra he was planning to pay his own workers, he said the increase would be about 3 per cent.
Asked to put a percentage figure on the pay rise he wants for himself, he said he ”hadn’t worked it out”.
An increase from $505,000 to $800,000 would amount to 58 per cent.
< Whistles > Hey, Occupy protestors. Greedy and exploitative fat cat alert, but you need to get your signs and arses over to Canberra and protest there. Seats of government are the root cause of everything you’ve got your cocks in a knot about anyway.
Mr D’Ascenzo defended the application, saying it was a matter of comparative wage justice.
Labor Senator Mark Bishop, who chairs the committee, said comparative wage justice hadn’t been used as a basis for justifying wage increases since the 1970s and 1980s.
Good for Mark Bishop, and worthy of my ‘Politician’s getting things right’ tag. But it must also be said that it’s nice of Mr D’Ascenzo to bring it up in October, the end of which is the last date for getting tax returns in and so is a month when taxation is on many minds. I’m sure I can guess the thoughts going through most of those minds as they learn that the Australian Tax Office’s capo di tutti capi (well, he runs the ATO and has an Italian name – if you think I’m not going to make a joke Mafia reference you’re very much mistaken) already earns something like ten times the median salary and now wants more than half as much again.
I think it’s an offer I think we can and should refuse.