The Remuneration Authority have published their 2012 determination. While most people will be unhappy that MPs get paid more than $2 an hour, it is worth noting what the Authority has said:
In recent years, members’ remuneration packages have not kept pace with increases in the cost of living, nor with general wage movements. …
Since fiscal year 2009 general salaries and wages have increased by 5.6% and the Consumers Price Index has increased by 8.0%. Parliamentary salaries (excluding the $2,000 and $5,000 increases in 2010 and 2011 to compensate for the reduction in value of the travel discount entitlements) have increased by only 2.9%.
Taking into account the prevailing adverse economic conditions and the small reduction in assessed value of the travel discount entitlement, the Authority has decided to apply a general increase this year of around 1.9%.
This still leaves members of Parliament receiving lower remuneration increases than the general population.
So what are the new salaries:
- PM – $419,300
- Deputy PM – $297,400
- Cabinet Ministers – $262,700
- Speaker – $262,700
- Leader of the Opposition – $262,700
- Ministers outside Cabinet – $221,400
- Government Chief Whip – $196,420
- Members of Executive Council not a full Minister – $192,700
- Labour Deputy Leader – $188,470
- Labour Senior Whip – $187,680
- Deputy Speaker – $185,300
- Green Party Leader – $178,230
- Under-Secretaries $171,800
- NZ First Party Leader – $169,410
- Green Whip – $168,780
- Maori Party Leader – $161,220
- NZ First Whip – $159,960
- Mana Party Leader – $158,700
- Assistant Speakers – $158,700
- National and Labour Junior Whips – $158,700
- Select Committee Chairs – $158,700
- Select Committee Deputy Chairs – $149,100
- Member of Parliament – $144,600
Interestingly they seem to have decided that parties with over 45 MPs can now have a second junior whip funded.
I repeat my earlier point that MPs salaries should not be reviewed annually, but set for each parliamentary term in advance.