NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian today introduced legislation to strip former politicians of their taxpayer-funded pension entitlement if they are convicted of a serious criminal offence committed during their time in office, even if they are charged after leaving office.
The move follows the conviction of former Labor politicians, Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald for misconduct in public office.
“The corrupt actions of former Labor Ministers Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald constitute a complete betrayal of public trust,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“These changes provide a strong reminder that politicians are here to serve the people of NSW, not to serve themselves.”
The legislation will close a loophole which would allow convicted politicians to retain their taxpayer-funded pension entitlement if they resigned before being charged with a serious criminal offence committed during their time in office.
“Unless these changes are made, politicians convicted of serious criminal offences will be able to live off their taxpayer-funded pension entitlement and that’s just not fair,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“The days of Obeid, Macdonald and their cronies benefiting at the expense of the people of NSW are over.”
Members elected to Parliament before the 2007 election are entitled to a pension. However, currently, politicians convicted of a serious criminal offence lose their pension only if they are still in office when they are charged, and later convicted.