Saturday, May 14, 2011

Handwringing for privilege

On Thursday night, 3 News pointed out the yawning gap between MP's superannuation scheme and ours, with the implication that if they are cutting KiwiSaver, they should share the pain and cut their own superannuation contributions too. Over on Kiwiblog, DPF responds by arguing that there's no point - the Remuneration Authority sets salaries on a total remuneration basis, so any superannuation cut would just result in a pay rise.

Bullshit. Firstly, Parliament can always change the law. But secondly, they don't even need to do that. In 2009, the Remuneration Authority deferred MP's usual annual salary rise in response to a request from Parliament. It could do the same again. The power is entirely in MPs' hands. DPF knows this, but as usual, he's just handwringing for privilege.

I've said before that our MPs work hard and should be well-paid for it. At the same time, they must lead by example. If they're cutting the taxpayer contribution to our retirement savings by 50%, they should do the same to themselves. Anything less would simply be hypocrisy.