The NSW deputy premier will receive a $1000 per week pay rise whenever he takes charge of the state, a move Premier Barry O'Farrell says recognises the higher duties he must assume.
When Mr O'Farrell is away from NSW, Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner will become the state's acting premier, entitling him to receive the extra pay.
The wage increase for Mr Stoner has been met with fierce resistance from the state opposition, which has called on Mr O'Farrell to reverse the decision.
But the premier is standing by his decision.
"When I'm away he's acting in the position, he gets the higher duties," Mr O'Farrell told reporters in Coonabarabran on Saturday.
"When I left the state halfway through the fire crisis in January, Andrew was out here, Andrew had all of the responsibilities," he told reporters in Coonabarabran.
Mr O'Farrell said deputies who must assume greater responsibility at a federal level were awarded extra pay, and this should also be recognised at a state level.
Asked whether he would consider opposition calls to reverse the decision, Mr O'Farrell shook his head.
"That's what they say all the time."
But opposition spokesman Walt Secord said the move was "unprecedented".
"At a time when the O'Farrell government is sacking 15,000 frontline workers, demanding government employees undertake massive wage savings measures and cutting billions from education and health, the premier grants his deputy a special pay rise," Mr Secord said in a statement on Saturday.
"This is totally unacceptable and the premier must immediately reverse the pay rise."