For parliamentarians covering themselves in glory this week, look no further than LNP Senator Ian Macdonald. Macdonald — who has been in Parliament since 1990 — is one of a few remaining elected representatives who would be eligible for the Life Gold Pass were it not on the chopping block. Macdonald says he doesn’t need it for himself because he is going to leave Parliament in a box (somewhat macabre and maybe also a threat?) but says he needs to stand up for those former politicians who “aren’t paid very well” and should get a say in the debate. The base salary for parliamentarians is $195,130 per annum from July 1, 2013.

If only politicians could have a voice in Parliament? In any case, as Crikey reported earlier this week, due to previous changes, the scheme only currently covers a few dozen former MPs, and most of those barely use it. Macdonald’s attempt to set up an inquiry into the axing of the Life Gold Pass failed on the voices. Ms Tips assumes Macdonald will now go back to his usual parliamentary role of telling Labor leader in the Senate Penny Wong to shush during question time.

Peter Fray

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