Australia

Huge cost of Cormann’s job bid

Australia’s bid to secure former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann a tax-free job running the OECD is set to cost millions with a RAAF jet on standby to fly him all over Europe.The former Senator is jetting around the globe on a Royal Australian Air Force Falcon jet to campaign for the job among the OECD’s…

Australia’s bid to secure former Finance Minister Mathias Cormann a tax-free job running the OECD is set to cost millions with a RAAF jet on standby to fly him all over Europe.

The former Senator is jetting around the globe on a Royal Australian Air Force Falcon jet to campaign for the job among the OECD’s 38 member countries.

The Belgian-born former Liberal Senator has quit politics to run as a candidate as the next secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

And the money man could double his dough if he gets the gig with a base salary of $383,000 that is tax-free in member countries as an employee of the OECD.

He previously earned $390,000 as Senate leader but actually had to pay income tax in Australia for his troubles.

It’s not clear whether Mr Cormann is continuing to draw any form of taxpayer-funded salary.

Senator Cormann entered Parliament in 2007, after changes to the parliamentary superannuation scheme that previously allows MPs to cash it out or take a pension as soon as they left politics.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously hailed Mr Cormann’s credentials as providing a perfect fit for the top job.

“I can think of no finer candidate that Australia can put forward with his experience, with his skills,” Mr Morrison said.

“Mathias’s seven-year experience as our longest-serving Finance Minister, Belgium-born, French-German and Flemish to boot, I think ideally equips him for the challenging role of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

“Australians have an ability to work with everyone, to get on with everyone, to find the way through, to be practical, to bring people together and to support the many global organisations which the OECD would work particularly the G20.”

Mr Cormann jetted out of Australia earlier this month to spruik his wares.

“The OECD is without any doubt one of the most consequential international economic policy and governance bodies in the world today,” he said.

“Through its work over the past six decades, it makes a difference to the lives, the daily lives, of billions of people all around the world.”

During the Rudd Government, taxpayers spent an estimated $25 million to secure a seat on the UN Security Council.

At the time, the Liberal Party hailed the win as an ‘expensive victory’ for Australia.

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