The Abbot Government has recently proposed to cut the annual wage increase by half for 57,000 personalle serving in the Australian Defence Force.
For the past three years, the annual wage increase has been around 3%, where the Abbot Government’s pay increase of 1.5% per annum is well below inflation. An annual wage increase below the rate of inflation means that each year, the money they earn will not be worth as much as the previous year.
A current ADF soldier spoke out about these changes and highlighted how he felt “thoroughly disgusted”. In fact this decision has angered most former and current servicemen and women, as well as the families who rely on this wage. Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambi, who served in the military has vowed to block all legislation that comes through the senate until the decision is reversed, she has described the wage cut as insulting and feels sympathy for the current ADF members who are putting their lives at risk for a better Australia.
These selfless men and women who have sworn to serve and protect their country, put their lives on the line and sacrificed their ordinary life, deserve better. Knowing that they could be deployed into war at any stage with no prior warning, is gutless. Shouldn’t these men and women deserve a wage increase that is fair and rewarding? For the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, surviving off ration packs, battling through the heat of the day and the chilling numbness off the night, never knowing if this mission will be their last as their mates that they have served alongside die around them. Again I ask, shouldn’t these men and women deserve a wage increase that is fair and rewarding? Travelling from point A to point B, with the potential threat of being hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (or IED) yet they still put their lives on the line for not only Australia, but the world community. The least we can do is pay them well.
How would you feel if after making all these sacrifices, the Abbot Government flips you the bird with these cuts, all in the matter of saving money. Personally I would be outraged. Tony Abbott over the past few months has repeatedly announced new cuts to “put the budget back on to a path to a sustainable surplus”, yet decreases government revenue by removing the carbon tax? A different story for a different time however it has been made obvious that he is not doing what he is best for the country, but rather what is best for the big businesses that feed his pockets.
If those in the public sector are all having their annual wage increases cut, shouldn’t politicians have their annual wage increases cut too? The defence force’s new annual pay rises are 140% less than the pay rise that politicians have awarded themselves in the past years. What sacrifices are they making that can even be compared to those made by these ADF…