Public servants will need pay rises of nearly $400 this year just to cover the cost of parking in the Parliamentary Triangle. Photo: Graham Tidy
Rank-and-file Canberra public servants will need pay rises of nearly $4000 this year just to cover the cost of parking their cars each day in the city's Parliamentary Triangle.
An analysis by The Canberra Times shows wages will have to rise by between 3.6 per cent and 4.4 per cent for the most common classifications in the public service in Canberra, just to keep pace with the $11-a-day parking fees due to start on July 1.
As unions and the Abbott government move closer to war over pay and conditions, the analysis shows bureaucrats working in and around the national precinct look set for a big rise in their day-to-day living costs
An Executive Level 1 public servant, the most common classification in Canberra, paying a marginal tax rate of 37 per cent would need a 3.6 per cent or $3929 pay rise to absorb the $11-day-day parking charge.
A worker on an Australian Public Service level 6 classification, the capital's second most common, would have to get a 4.4 per cent pay increase, well above the rate of inflation and much more than the federal government looks prepared to offer.
Resentment is running high among the tens of thousands of bureaucrats who work in and around the triangle and have enjoyed free parking since Canberra's early days.
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The public service's 117 pay deals expire in June and with the bargaining process still delayed, Public Service Minister Eric Abetz has scoffed at a union pay claim of 4 per cent a year over three years, which he said was "out of touch" and would cost jobs.
The government says public servants will get no pay rises unless their agency bosses can prove the wage increases can be offset against "productivity gains".
Canberra MP Gai Brodtmann, said on Thursday that it was unfair to force drivers to pay for parking in an area where there was little "amenity" such as shops, cafes or services.
"I have always been concerned about the impact of paid parking on public servants working in the Parliamentary Triangle," Ms Brodtmann said.
"And I have always argued that if they are to pay for parking they need to have access to the services available to public servants working in other town centres, such as Woden and Civic.
"That's why I initiated the inquiry into amenity in the Parliamentary Triangle.
"It's not fair to expect public servants to pay for parking without any services."
Correction: An earler version of this article had incorrect salary estimates.