MPs pay rise coming

October 22nd, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

Prime Minister John Key has hinted the Remuneration Authority is lining up a good pay rise for MPs this year, saying he had been consulted on the proposed increase and had told the authority he believed only a small, if not zero, pay rise should be offered.

Mr Key would not reveal what the proposed increase was or what he had said but hinted it was above the rate of inflation.

“But bluntly, I’m not in favour of big pay increases for MPs. If it was my vote, it would be no pay increases, but I don’t get that vote.”

He said there might be a valid argument for low increases to an MPs’ salary to keep pace with inflation. “That would be the top end. But I don’t buy the argument that they’re out of whack with the rest of the private sector or the public sector.” Inflation over the 2012/13 year was 0.7 per cent.

Wage increases across the board is one of the factors the authority takes into account when setting the salary, which it usually announces in December and is backdated to July.

Mr Key said he often copped the blame for those increases, although the authority was independent and made its own decisions.

The Government and MPs could save themselves some pain if they adopted my submission which was that the salary for MPs should be set just prior to each election, and remain fixed for a term of Parliament. In these days of low inflation, that won’t disadvantage them. Rather than say get three annual pay rises of 2% each, the salary for each term might be say 6% more than the term before. The key thing is they would get elected on that salary and stay on it.

MPs’ pay

Between 2009 and 2012:
* rose by 2.9 per cent
*General wages rose 5.6 per cent

A useful fact. I still expects howls of outrage though.

Tags:

35 Responses to “MPs pay rise coming”

  1. scrubone (3,095 comments) says:

    I say don’t pay them at all.

    It’s a privilege, they shouldn’t do it for money.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. MT_Tinman (3,136 comments) says:

    I agree with scrubone.

    Legitimate expenses (for doing their job only) plus the minimum wage.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Dennis Horne (2,388 comments) says:

    Maybe if we offered more we would get more: better people. MPs don’t earn as much as hundreds of drongos shuffling paper in council “jobs”.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. gump (1,638 comments) says:

    @scrubone

    A privilege? It’s a job – and it’s not a particularly pleasant one.

    If you restrict your political representatives to the independently wealthy, you create a plutocracy.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    MPs’ pay

    Between 2009 and 2012:
    *MPs salaries rose by 2.9 per cent
    *General wages rose 5.6 per cent

    *2012: 1.9 per cent increase
    *2011: 1.5 per cent pay rise plus $5000 to compensate for cut in travel allowances.
    *2010: 1.4 per cent pay rise plus $2000 lump sum to compensate for reduced use of travel perks.
    *2009: zero increase, after both National and Labour called for a freeze in the recession.

    Even ignoring the $5000 increase and $2000 payment, the overall increase and the yearly increases don’t add up. Increases of 1.4%, 1.5% and 19% over three/four years are an overall increase of ~4.9%, not 2.9%.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    One of those already howling is Patrick Gower: He tweeted:

    The pay rise for MPs is an absolute rort – taxpayers must be given veto power to stop it & break up cosy club.

    And he blogged:

    It is time that MPs subjected themselves to an annual pay review in front of the New Zealand public.

    (Make MPs subject to taxpayer review)

    I asked him “Political journos also play a mayor role in our democracy, should their pay be subject to voter approval too?”

    No response yet.

    Vote: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Nigel Kearney (986 comments) says:

    The RA looks at market remuneration rates for comparable occupations (or what it thinks are comparable) then deducts the value of perks etc to arrive at an annual salary amount. It has been impractical for MPs to actually use the perks since Rodney Hide was basically politically assassinated for using one. So they are now getting the same overall amount in the form of higher salaries. Taxpayers are not any better off and were never going to be.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Bill English has held all state sector employees to 1.1% per annum pay rises since the recession began. It seems grossly unfair for MPs to be the only public servants getting sizable pay increases.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. m@tt (628 comments) says:

    Why don’t we have performance based pay for MPs.

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. Roflcopter (457 comments) says:

    Won’t hear any complaining from the Greens, Metiria wants to extend her lavish wardrobe.

    Vote: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. Colville (2,261 comments) says:

    Ya pay peanuts ya get monkeys and at least half of them are monkeys.

    Its not a job I would do for 3 times the pay. All work all the time no privacy and very little chance to get anything actually done until you kiss enough arse to climb the ranks.

    Wanna go out and have a big night to celebrate your mates birthday? you gonna be in the media the next day. Fuck that.

    However being Mayor of Auckland has promise. $800K/yr and you get to bang a young hottie on the table in the town hall and get caught all without consequense infact the lefty media positvley encourages it as the right thing to do! It was all the nasty womans fault she slipped and fell repeatedly onto the Mayors cock!

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    Actually, the government could do something about it. It could remove the jurisdiction of the Remuneration Authority to set MPs pay. Parliament should set the pay of MPs – and thereby take responsibility for the same, rather than hiding behind the skirt of a quango.

    In my view, MPs should receive a per diem payment for every day Parliament’s in session (and they attend) plus reimbursement of legitimate office and travel expenses. I don’t care if that makes politics into a part-time service rather than a professional career for governing-caste aspirants like Chris Hipkins and Iain Lees-Galloway.

    I really don’t think our country would be that much worse off if memebership of Parliament was restricted to those who have marketable skills in the real economy.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Warren Murray (307 comments) says:

    Colville, the Mayor of Auckland doesn’t get paid $800k.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Fletch (6,296 comments) says:

    How much do these people get paid anyway?
    Exorbitant salaries, I am betting.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Warren Murray (307 comments) says:

    Interesting coincidence this story breaks on the day that the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Bill is having its second reading.

    I think the PM is in a tricky spot, it’s great politics for a politician who has considerable private wealth to criticise any pay rise his less wealthy colleagues might receive, but also undermines the Remuneration Authority, which has a job to do.

    Agree with DF that setting their remuneration once per term has strong appeal, but that approach falls down when the PM succeeds in talking the Rem Auth into issuing a zero increase, such as happened after the 2008 election.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. RichardX (325 comments) says:

    m@tt (527) Says:
    October 22nd, 2013 at 11:59 am
    Why don’t we have performance based pay for MPs.

    What performance would you measure?
    The number of times they turned up?
    The number of votes cast?
    The number of times they agreed with your idealogoical position?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Warren Murray (307 comments) says:

    Fletch, the PM receives around $420k, Cabinet Ministers, Leader of Opposition, Speaker get about $260k, other ministers $220k, and the rates scale down for certain other positions until at the bottom an ordinary backbencher gets $144k. The Rem Auth also gives each MP an expense allowance of $16k, the PM and Speaker get a bit more.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. Fletch (6,296 comments) says:

    Warren, sounds like I better get a job in politics then. :lol:

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. dime (9,869 comments) says:

    Im not convinced a backbencher is worth 144 stacks plus benies.

    Take a sack of crap like Mallard. He brings nothing to the table. What if he holds on another 15 years?

    Thats 15 years of triple the average wage (give or take).

    How about some low rent Greens MP? just riding it out for as long as possible…

    Or that kid in national who left high school to join the council. Then gets a safe seat. Should he really be allowed to become wealthy while suckling at the tax payer tit?

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Longknives (4,691 comments) says:

    Hone Harawira…
    I rest my case.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. MT_Tinman (3,136 comments) says:

    Longknives (3,152) Says:
    October 22nd, 2013 at 1:06 pm
    Hone Harawira…
    I rest my case.

    Well rested Sir!

    Vote: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. dave_c_ (217 comments) says:

    5.6 pecent ? I havent seen 0.6 percent in a long while – seems that civil servants (of the MP kind) continue to get reasonable increases year on year – no questions asked ! Some pigs are created more equal than other pigs

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Cato (1,095 comments) says:

    If politicians had a more limited pay scale commensurate with the service element of thei role then it is likely they wouldn’t stay in the job as long. It’s doubtful if many MPs would then stay in Parliament beyond three terms.

    It’s also unlikely that quite so many Youth Actvisits/ Youth MP / Model UN types taking the path of being Parliamentary Staffers and then List MPs at such a young age without ever having to do a GST return or provide for a family on an entry level private sector wage.

    Whether or not that would be a good thing depends almost entirely on your perspective and distance from the city of Wellington.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. burt (8,241 comments) says:

    Not like the good ‘ol Clark & Cullen years where 9% was the norm !!!!!!! The snaggertooth PM doubled her salary over 9 years – big slap in the face for workers represented by the champion of workers right …..

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Another nail in the coffin for National. J Key says he has no say in MP pay rises and cannot dispute against them as he says he would prefer to.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    “the Mayor of Auckland doesn’t get paid $800k.”

    Give it time. amazing amount of things we didn’t use to see in NZ

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. wiseowl (869 comments) says:

    Public servants and council staff seem to get pay increases every year.
    In the private sector it has been years since many have had any pay increase and many businesses are struggling to survive so can’t increase remuneration.
    Having the ability to extract money from people via rates and taxes allows never ending spending and in the end it will all come to a sorry end.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Viking2 (11,417 comments) says:

    Dennis Horne (1,824) Says:
    October 22nd, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Maybe if we offered more we would get more: better people. MPs don’t earn as much as hundreds of drongos shuffling paper in council “jobs”.
    ========================

    Simply tells us that those hundreds of drongo’s are overpaid.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Chi Hsu (101 comments) says:

    A useful fact. I still expects howls of outrage though.

    It’s also useful to refer to the factual dollar amounts as opposed to percentages. The defending of almost everything John Key does on this blog is not unexpected.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. nickb (3,686 comments) says:

    No wonder people on the left are so drawn to politics. 90% of the Labour Party would be stoked to retire having earnt half a backbenchers salary during their lifetimes (if they weren’t in politics).

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. OneTrack (3,024 comments) says:

    “Legitimate expenses (for doing their job only) plus the minimum wage.”

    Nah, a “living wage” for them, especially the politicians championing the cause. Oh, wait.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. OneTrack (3,024 comments) says:

    ” It’s doubtful if many MPs would then stay in Parliament beyond three terms.”

    Yay.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. OneTrack (3,024 comments) says:

    Any increase at all and time to get rid of the Remuneration Authority.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. rg (210 comments) says:

    MP’s used to get paid the same as a school teacher. Now they get nearly 3 times the pay. There is no shortage of people wanting to do it, no particular skills or qualifications required, so apart from the job security factor it is a cushy number.
    Pay them the average wage. That will motivate them to spend less of our taxes.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. Sector 7g (240 comments) says:

    Green and Labour MP’s should only be payed 3 times as much as their cleaners. Right?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.