MPs Remuneration Bill

June 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Government Administration Committee has reported back the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill which was to transfer some expense decisions away from the Speaker to the independent , which is a good thing.

The Herald reports the major changes:

A committee of MPs has recommended tougher financial penalties for themselves and their colleagues when they are away from Parliament without leave.

But MPs on the Government Administration Committee say decisions about MPs’ travel perks should remain with Parliament’s Speaker while the Remuneration Authority should decide on the level of their accommodation allowances.

The Government’s Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill – drafted in response to the regular public anger over MPs’ remuneration – lifted the penalty for MPs absent without leave for more than nine days each year to about $270 a day from the current $10.

However, the committee has recommended that the penalty kicks in after just three days and is effectively increased by setting it at 0.2 per cent of the individual MP’s gross salary.

That works out to $289 a day for a backbench MP, $525 a day for Crown Ministers and the leader of the Opposition and $838 a day for the Prime Minister.

That is much better.

While the Prime Minister, other ministers and MPs are frequently away from Parliament on sitting days, they generally have a leave of absence. New rules setting out the criteria under which MPs are deemed to be absent without leave will be formulated by parties in consultation with the Speaker.

Hone may not end up getting paid much! He’s almost never there.

I’m disappointed however that the committee did not take up (or even mention) my proposal that MPs remuneration should only be reviewed every three years, with any changes to take place after an election. This would have avoided the public backlash around MPs getting pay rises, as no MP would get a pay rise during their term of Parliament. So when they get a backlash at the next pay increase, well they’ll have no one but themselves to blame.

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9 Responses to “MPs Remuneration Bill”

  1. kowtow (8,755 comments) says:

    Mp’s should be paid a low base salary.

    After that their salaries could be increased incrementally as long as public accounts were in positive territory.The bigger the surplus the bigger (but not too big) bonus.

    That would stop the bastards spending our money like drunken sailors.

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    Given your trenchant views on the evils of legislation validating parliamentary spending, I’m pretty sure you now have to oppose this bill, DPF.

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  3. backster (2,184 comments) says:

    The Patsy that is the independent remuneration Authority invariably makes far larger increases than the Speaker or other members would dare vote for themselves so I see the move as self interested divestment of responsibility.

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  4. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    An MP’s income should be linked to the average wage. That way they would only get an increase when everyone else did.

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  5. Paulus (2,660 comments) says:

    Kowtow

    Good accounting can give you any set of results you want.

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  6. Warren Murray (313 comments) says:

    What do you mean Graeme?

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  7. Warren Murray (313 comments) says:

    I think in the unlikely event of Hone getting his pay clipped, he would still collect most of it. Unlikely because he will work out how to avoid that sanction.

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    What do you mean Graeme?

    The select committee has added a couple of clauses to the bill. It now allows for replacement list MPs to be paid, and validates the salaries of all past replacement list MPs, whom got paid, but legally weren’t supposed to because when we changed over to MMP, they didn’t properly amend the Civil List Act.

    The old law, and the bill as introduced, provided for pay to MPs (list and electorate) elected at general elections, and MPs elected at by-elections, but didn’t provide for payment for replacement MPs elected off the list between elections.

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  9. Graeme Edgeler (3,290 comments) says:

    I think in the unlikely event of Hone getting his pay clipped, he would still collect most of it. Unlikely because he will work out how to avoid that sanction.

    Your’re right, if Hone (or any other MP) skips an entire year, and the maximum penalty is applied, they do, in fact, keep most of their pay.

    Using this year’s sitting programme, an MP who skipped, without leave, every single sitting day, would keep 82% of their salary.

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