Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pigs at the trough

New Zealanders are struggling. Wages increased only 1.8% last year, and 40% of workers didn't get a wage rise at all. Benefits are static, capped at the level set by Ruth Richardson in 1990. The minimum wage increased by a measley 50 cents.

And meanwhile, our MPs are helping themselves to a $10,000 pay rise. While telling us all to "do more with less".

(Oh yes, its technically the Remuneration Commission giving them the pay rise. Which they set up for that purpose in an effort to hide what is really going on. But everyone knows its a scam to dodge blame, and no-one believes MPs' insincere claims that they are absolutely helpless to change the rules they wrote to give them endless huge pay-rises. They're not helpless here, they just choose to be so they can keep on raking in the cash).

Its obscene. Its hypocritical. And its a perfect example of everything that is wrong with our political system. Like the bankers, our MPs get paid well regardless of their performance. Their incentive therefore to improve the lot of the rest of us is negligible. They're simply not in the same boat. And with taxpayer-subsidised mortgages (now with less transparency!) and taxpayer-funded sluch funds, they grow further and further apart from the people they purport to represent.

MPs need to be well-paid to prevent corruption. And they are, and have been for a long time. But there's no need for them to be paid like bankers. There's no need for them to be in the top 1%. And there's certainly no need for guaranteed pay rises. Instead, their pay should be linked to the median individual income. And if they fail to increase it, thereby improving the lot of every kiwi, then they shouldn't get any more. Its that simple.

(We can also file this under "earning their reputation", part I've-lost-fucking-count-now).