Is Gillard’s income relevant?

Margaret Smyth writes: Re. “Totting up Gillard’s income — author, speaker, ex-PM” (yesterday). What a mean-spirited article about Julia Gillard’s income next year, more worthy of The Daily Telegraph than Crikey.  Andrew Crook seems determined to find fault with her, but even he is unable to come up with anything that is not perfectly reasonable in her behaviour.  He is left apparently hoping that Tony Abbot will manage to dud her in some way.

Robyn Godbehere Tully writes: Can you do a similar piece on all other PMs including John Howard and other CoalitionPMs? Seems a shame if Crikey only tells half the story or only a minor part of it. How about an article on how much ex-PMs and other politicians’ lurks and perks are actually costing this country so we can get the real story and not just a very small portion of it?

Marcus L’Estrange writes: Whether Socialist Left prime minister Julia Gillard receives $200,000-$375,000 salary, fully indexed for life (plus tens of thousands of dollars in travel and office entitlements gifted to former Lodge-dwellers) from the Commonwealth has still missed the point of how she treated the very battlers, who will pay for this very largesse, while in office.

In February 2011, Gillard said publicly: ”Friends, we look with particular concern on the large number of working-age Australians, possibly as many as 2 million, who stand outside the full-time labour force, above and beyond those registered [then 600,000, now 700,000] as unemployed. Around 800,000 [now a million] are in part-time jobs but want to work more. Another 800,000 are outside the labour market, including discouraged job seekers. And many thousands of individuals on the disability support pension may have some capacity to work.” All these Australians were / are chasing around 132,000 vacancies advertised and not advertised. Why didn’t she increase the dole payment of $35 a day while she received $1200 a day knowing the utter futility of those on the dole looking for non-existent jobs? Her “let them eat cake” approach is beyond belief.

Why, then, would Gillard (now on $200,000-$375,000 plus a year pension plus other income), add so many sole parents to the lower dole payment and dole queues when their children turned eight when we already have more than 2.6 million people chasing non-existent jobs? Ben Chifley would be turning in his grave at what Labor’s “current New Class” is up to.

An Australian film triumph

Peter Temple writes: “Re. WikiFlop: why?” (yesterday). Why is there no crowing from Australian rooftops about the premiere in London on Sunday of Saving Mr Banks? Ian Collie of Australian company Essential Media walked the red carpet as an executive producer of Disney Studios’ blockbuster-to-be, starring Tom Hanks (as Walt Disney) and Emma Thompson (as PL Travers, creator of Mary Poppins). The screenplay is the joint work of Australian Sue Smith and  Briton Kelly Marcel.