Sunday 26 June 2022 04:54 AM Anthony Albanese's lieutenants defend decision that enraged independents and ... trends now

Sunday 26 June 2022 04:54 AM Anthony Albanese's lieutenants defend decision that enraged independents and ... trends now
Sunday 26 June 2022 04:54 AM Anthony Albanese's lieutenants defend decision that enraged independents and ... trends now

Sunday 26 June 2022 04:54 AM Anthony Albanese's lieutenants defend decision that enraged independents and ... trends now

Two of Anthony Albanese's most senior ministers have defended Labor slashing staff for independent and minor party MPs as 'common sense'. 

The prime minister sent a letter on Friday telling the 16 affected MPs and 18 crossbench senators their adviser numbers were being cut from four each to one. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said he was surprised by how many staff crossbenchers had, while Education Minister Jason Clare said the decision was 'pretty fair'. 

'I don't think it's reasonable or fair for one backbench MP in one electorate to get twice as many staff as a backbench MP in the electorate next door,' Mr Chalmers told ABC's Insiders on Sunday.  

But the move has been slammed by crossbenchers, including Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie, Sydney MP Sophie Scamps, and new ACT senator David Pocock, who said it could derail the government's legislative agenda. 

Jacqui Lambie (pictured) said she was 'fuming' with Anthony Albanese over staffing cuts for crossbenchers such as her

Jacqui Lambie (pictured) said she was 'fuming' with Anthony Albanese over staffing cuts for crossbenchers such as her

Labor has 26 senators and needs 39 votes to pass bills through the 76-member senate. 

That means it will need the backing of 13 crossbenchers to pass any legislation not supported by the Coalition.

Ms Lambie said she was 'fuming' with Mr Albanese and that his decision could make her more likely to vote against government bills. 

'If we can’t go through the legislation (with advisers) how can we vote on it? I’m not voting for something that I can’t go through,' she told the Sydney Morning Herald

Ms Scamps, who represents Mackellar on Sydney's northern beaches, said the staff cuts 'will present an enormous challenge for the crossbench to effectively undertake the work we are required to do in federal parliament'. 

She, along with the other crossbenchers, will still have four electorate staff each, in addition to one adviser.  

Mr Pocock, a former rugby international, slammed the move as a 'hypocritical... political decision' that 'short-changes' his ACT electorate.

'Being accessible, consulting widely, challenging the parliament

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