The GG Bill

The Dom Post reports:

It’s a farewell fit for a queen or at least her New Zealand representative – the governor-general’s severance pay is to be doubled to six months’ salary.

However, the rise is meant to compensate the governor-general for having to start paying income tax, like everyone else, according to the Governor-General Bill that passed its first reading in Parliament yesterday. The requirement applies to future governors-general.

I think six months is reasonable. Accepting the role of Governor-General basically makes you unemployable after you retire. You can’t return to the bench (for example), or do most jobs.

But the bill continues the paying of an annuity to the governor-general or their surviving spouse once they leave office, as well as current perks such as domestic travel and chauffeur-driven cars for duties.

Almost all former GGs continue as public figures, often assisting charities and the like.  However there might be a case that the perks are time limited – perhaps for up to ten years after leaving office.

UPDATE: In fact the GG is not getting any sort of increase at all. An official has e-mailed me an explanation:

The payment upon leaving office is not being doubled. Under the Civil List Act, it is calculated as: 3 months’ salary + 3 months’ allowance = payment. Under the new Act, it will be: 6 months’ salary = payment. The reason for the change is that the allowance pool will be much smaller in the future.

It is not possible to specify exactly what the payment will be in dollar terms, because the Remuneration Authority sets the rate of the Governor-General’s salary. However, it is reasonable to expect that the Remuneration Authority will take into account the fact that future Governors-General will be paying income tax when it determines what their salaries should be. On that basis, a payment of six months’ salary is expected to be a rough equivalent to the current payment of 3 months’ salary + 3 months’ allowance.

So the amount of money paid will be much the same, just that it comes from a different pile.

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