The Herald reports:
The National Party isn’t going to support a Green Party proposal to freeze MPs’ pay for three years, as it doesn’t believe the recession will last that long.
The Greens plan to put their proposal to Parliament, possibly tomorrow, and they hope MPs will vote on it.
Prime Minister John Key said today if it was re-drafted for a one-year freeze, National would support it.
“The Green’s proposal presupposes there will be a recession for three years,” Mr Key said. …
“I don’t accept that proposition. If the Greens want to alter it to one year then National will vote for it, and we might vote for it in the second and third years.” …
Green Party MP Keith Locke said he was pleased Mr Key had responded to the proposal in a positive way and the Greens would want to get it through Parliament on a cross-party basis.
I have long advocated that MPs should get pay rises only once every three years, rather than annually. Not because of the recession, but to get rid of the (inaccurate) perception of MPs giving themselves pay rises.
I would change the law so that the Remuneration Commission sets MPs salaries 90 days before a scheduled election, with the new rates to apply for the next term of Parliament.
This isn’t to lower MPs wages compared to other jobs – just to change the timing. So (for example) instead of annual increases of say 3%, there might be a 10% increase for the next term of Parliament.
This is a slightly different issue to “self sacrifice” of increases during the recession. That comes down to showing “moral leadership” and is a sensible action, as there will be less resistance of making savings elsewhere if they are also occuring at the top.