Friday, June 12, 2009

Out of touch

That is the only way to describe National MP Melissa Lee's claim (to low-paid members of the Unite union, no less) that she is paid only $2 an hour. Her salary of $131,000 a year is more than five times the $26,000 someone would earn on the minimum wage, and her expenses and allowances raise it to well over six times. And while MPs work hideously long hours in what is a very demanding job, even if she worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year with no sleep or holidays, Lee would still be earning $15 an hour - a figure that many of her audience can only aspire to.

It would be interesting to ask Lee, and other candidates, some questions about income distribution in this country: how much they think people actually earn, where they place themselves on the income scale. the answers, as in the UK, should be enlightening.