Thursday, February 26, 2015

John Key on MPs' pay rises

Most MPs resigned to their 1.4pc pay rise, Dominion Post, 25 December 2010:

Prime Minister John Key urged restraint over the setting of politicians' pay this year but most MPs seem resigned to the boost in their salaries which, they are quick to point out, was decided independently.

Mr Key was consulted by the Remuneration Authority – the independent body that sets politicians' pay – and said given the circumstances restraint should be shown.

"He argued there should be a nil increase for MPs, or if there was any increase, it should be in the band of other public-sector pay settlements," a spokesman for Mr Key said.

The authority decided on a 1.4 per cent rise backdated to July and a one-off payment of $2000 to cover the decreased use of MPs' travel subsidy. The rise boosts Mr Key's salary to $400,500 and a backbencher's to $134,800.

Mana outrage over MPs' $7000 pay rise, New Zealand Herald, 17 November 2011:
Prime Minister John Key said we was also disappointed with part of the decision to increase MP's pay.

He said he was happy with the 1.5 per cent increase because that was roughly in line with what the rest of the country got, but he said there was little need for the $5,000 to compensate for the scrapping of the travel allowance.

Key tips pay jump for MPs, New Zealand Herald, 22 October 2013:
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.

John Keys hints he'll change law on MPs' pay rises - but he'll still take today's hike, New Zealand Herald, 26 February 2015:
Prime Minister John Key says Parliament may change the law on how MPs' pay rates are set in the future, but he won't turn down a pay rise expected today.

He told reporters this morning that he wrote to the Remuneration Authority early this year urging it not to give MPs a pay rise at all this year, but the authority had given them a pay rise anyway.

Forgive my scepticism, but I'll believe it when I see it. Every year, John Key says MPs' don't need a huge pay rise, and even threatens to change the law. But he never does, except to hide the setting of MPs' perks behind the Remuneration Authority blame-sink as well (which, surprise surprise, resulted in another big increase). Its amazing how powerless the Prime Minister is on this, when he can ram new spying powers through in less than a month and pass a law to pillage the conservation estate overnight. You'd almost get the impression that he didn't really care, and was just saying what his pollsters had told him we wanted to hear...