Palmer, Lambie clash over Defence pay row

A call for a Veteran's protest by Jacqui Lambie has seen tension in the Palmer United Party.
A call for a Veteran's protest by Jacqui Lambie has seen tension in the Palmer United Party. AAP Image - Lukas Coch

CONTROVERSIAL Palmer United Party Senator Jackie Lambie has threatened to block all government legislation unless Australian Defence Force personnel get a pay increase.

She said she was prepared to cause a spit in the fledging party unless her demands were met.

The Defence Force Remuneration Tribunal announced this week ADF personnel would receive a 1.5% pay rise each year for three years.

Defence welfare groups say the move amounts to a wage cut in actual terms because inflation is at 2.3%.

Ms Lambie received widespread condemnation earlier this week when she called on veterans to hijack next week's Remembrance Day memorial services and use the occasion to stage a protest against the wage decision.

The Senator, who served in the military for a decade before being medically discharged, told Channel Nine's Today Show on Friday she was prepared to take a stand over the matter.

"I am not backing down on this. I am going to stand my ground and that is just the way it is," she said.

"It is time to fight fire with fire and it will be a battle to the end over this one."

Ms Lambie then hit ABC airwaves accusing PUP leader Clive Palmer of "flip-flopping" on the issue.

"It is getting to the point where I just do not care what Clive Palmer's position is on this at the moment," she said.

"But if he had a conscience then he would stand right beside me and our troops and our veterans and make a stance on this now."

PUP leader Clive Palmer said in a statement to APN Newsdesk on Friday he would consistently oppose any reductions in pay to people who serve our country.

"In relation to Senator Lambie and her comments, she is very passionate about this issue as she did wear a uniform and served this country for more than 10 years," he said.

"The beauty of democracy is that people are allowed to have their own positions on matters such as these.

"Though I want to make it clear that I will not make a political stance or statement on Remembrance Day or Anzac Day to dispute pay rates.

"I believe there is a political process when it comes to matters such as these and I will be respecting that process."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said in Brisbane his party would fight for a fair deal for the thousands of Australians who serve their country.

He said he would at least offer an increase which was inline with inflation and called on the government to reconsider the "rotten joke" that was currently on offer.


Topics:  clive palmer editors picks jacqui lambie politics

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