New pay scales for MPs

November 20th, 2008 at 6:09 pm by David Farrar

The today announced the new pay scales for MPs. These of course are as popular as pork chops as a synagogue.

I’ve said for years on end that Parliament should amend the Remuneration Authority Act so that MPs only get pay adjusted once every three years – just before an election. In other words the pay is set for each term of Parliament, and you get elected to a role knowing what it will be. With relatively low inflation, there is no need for annual increases. Instead of getting flak every year for a 5% rise, just have a triennial 15% (or so) increase that will only apply to the next Parliament.

Anyway what are the changes:

  • PM from $375,000 to $393,000 (4.8%)
  • Deputy PM from 264,500 to $276,700 (4.6%)
  • Cabinet Ministers (plus Opp Leader) from $233,000 to $243,700 (4.6%)
  • Other Ministers from $195,700 to $204,300 (4.4%)
  • Backbench MPs from $126,000 to $131,000 (4.0%)

The full determination is not online, which is really annoying.

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14 Responses to “New pay scales for MPs”

  1. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Good scheme David but I would go for the ‘they get the pay adjusted once every three years AFTER the election’. Pay rise indexed to the votes they get and backdated to when they took office.
    So they get what the last lot got and if they flog their rings out and do well and get re-elected with a big majority they get the rise approved by the tribunal otherwise they get SFA. Performance pay I guess it could be called. Christ knows but we need something like this in the public sector instead of the eternal chant of—”We have to pay this to keep up with the private sector”.

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  2. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    Too many MP’s and too little pay lead to the Sue Bradfords of this world in Parliament

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  3. Razork (375 comments) says:

    You are on the money Patrick!
    This pay scale only attracts the clueless or the mega rich.

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  4. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    I like that plan David. It neatly sidesteps the whole “they gave themselves a pay-rise” hoo ha and all the silly rich-envy that comes with it.

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  5. Steve (4,499 comments) says:

    Just think how much more tax is paid to finance the dropkick disfunctionals.
    After all the welfare dependant need an income??

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  6. Ben Wilson (523 comments) says:

    Yeah, it’s kind of silly how there’s always a fuss about it. Everyone gets pay rises. It should keep step roughly with inflation.

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  7. oranjemakker (60 comments) says:

    I actually think the pay scales are quite high for backbench MPs, particularly when you include all the perks they get. I was informed that for example all MPs get unlimited free travel in NZ for their partners! I think its a stretch to give it to the MPs themselves (they should have to apply for it on expense like any employee) but why on earth to their spouses? This seems mad.

    I would imagine the $131k package is worth more like $200k fully costed. This is a high pay in NZ, and when you consider that backbench MPs don’t really do all that much, and i would guess that for many of them, it would constitute a big pay increase.

    Would it not be fairer to set the basic pay at say the average national income level (40-50k??) and then give them increases if they were earning more previously as determined by their tax returns (up to some limit of course). This has the logic of paying them the same as the average voter who pays their salaries yet does not disincentivise people on big salaries from becoming MPs. It also of course stops losers from trying to become MPs just to earn more money, so completely takes away any financial incentive for becoming an MP. I think this single move would improve the quality of the countrys MPs on both sides of the aisle.

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  8. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    ” It also of course stops losers from trying to become MPs just to earn more money”

    What are you trying to do here you damned yarpy. Take away a whole career path for poor under paid union organisers. Wash your mouth out man!!!

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  9. Don the Kiwi (1,593 comments) says:

    People who whinge that politicians get paid too much have got their head up their arse.
    I wouldn’t be a politician for any amount of money – they are public possessions and if they do their job properly, they earn every penny they’re paid. If they’re lazy slobs and don’t look after their constituents, then vote them out next time round.
    MMP has a lot to answer for – dumb arses who get to influence our laws and society – Nandor and Sue anyone??? Spare us.

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  10. V (668 comments) says:

    I don’t think the remuneration of MPs nor central bankers should be adjusted for inflation at all. Thus people working in these areas will have an incentive to deliver monetary policy settings that do not erode our purchasing power.

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  11. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Oh for fucks sake the pay isn’t that high ask any farmer, except wool. I wouldn’t give a fat rats arse if they were paid a million dollars a year. When you are farming it’s what is left in your back pocket at the end of the year that counts and so it should be for the country. Of course it’s not that easy but unless we tip the scales into the positive we are all going down, my money is that we are all going to go down.

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  12. Madeleine (230 comments) says:

    I definately agree that the perks need looking at, some of them do seem nuts, but when you look at what an MP does and what is expected of them and the stick they take the stress and abuse they are subject to and the impact of that on their families I don’t think they are paid enough.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support less government – I have just been defending the concept that the state should have no role to play in recognising marriage on my own blog; I am rather right of centre but as such, I equally believe that people should be paid fairly, including those in state roles.

    I grew up as a member of a well-known, at times controversial, MP’s family. I saw first hand what the cost of being an MP is. I myself have dabbled in the political realm and have not enjoyed the personal cost at all, though I admit to getting what is attractive about the role – its like an adrenaline high that fires you up but when it burns you, it burns really bad. I really feel for female MP’s as the women in politics get it worse because they are routinely judged on how they look as well as how they perform – right now there exists a poll on my appearance on the net. I have worn the appearance thing from day 1 of my public involvement in politics and it still grates, I have either been a sex symbol or ugly – both are irritating. Every time someone hassled Helen about her photo-shopped pics I winced for her despite my opinion on her politics (though even I had to admit there is a difference between touch ups and total revamps).

    Anyway, to get me to take on a job that had a personal cost that high you would have to pay me a lot more. I especially admire those who drop higher paid jobs to take on such a gruelling task as being an MP.

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  13. Crampton (214 comments) says:

    What I like about David’s idea is that it gives MPs an incentive to worry about inflation!

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  14. Nigel Kearney (864 comments) says:

    What government is going to allow a change to have this come out before the election instead of after?

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