Key calls for pay freeze for MPs and Judges

NZPA reports:

Prime Minister has urged the to freeze MPs’ pay at its next review due to the tough economic times.

Mr Key today said he had also written to the Remuneration Authority asking it to exercise restraint when considering all salary rises in its jurisdiction.

The authority, which is independent and free to ignore Mr Key, determines pay rises for MPs, the judiciary and specified statutory officers and members of local authorities and community boards.

We won’t know until late 2009 if they take heed, but I think they will.

Mr Key said it was still a case of the Government leading by example.

“The New Zealand economy is facing what looks to be a difficult time ahead,” he said.

“It is only right that in these changing economic times, as ordinary New Zealanders tighten their belts, MPs and ministers also play their part.

“While the Remuneration Authority is an independent body I would hope that it recognises the current economic climate calls for a cautious use of taxpayer money.”

Mr Key said the National Party would also file a submission with the authority calling for a zero pay increase in parliamentary salaries.

As I have said many times before, I think the law should be changed so MPs salaries never change during their term of office. The Remuneration Authority should set pay rates for an entire three year term, a few months before each scheduled election.

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