28 Dec 2012

Brendan Horan wants change to MP pay decisions

3:19 pm on 28 December 2012

Former New Zealand First MP Brendan Horan is putting forward an amendment to a bill on MPs' salaries. in a bid to get Parliament to agree on pay before the next general election.

On 20 December, MPs were given 1.9% a payrise backdated to the beginning of July.

Opposition parties called for the Remuneration Authority to set MPs' salaries in the middle of the year, rather than late December.

Mr Horan, now an independent MP, said his amendment will require any increase in pay that is set before the 2014 election to apply for the full three-year term. He said it is only fair that New Zealanders know before they vote what increase MPs will receive.

Mr Horan expects other parties, including New Zealand First, to support the bill.

However, the Green Party said it would not give backing to any measure that could allow politicians to control how much they get paid.

Co-leader Metiria Turei said having an independent authority decide MPs' pay has been the most important advance in the last few years. "In the past, when MPs have set their own pay, they've set [it] low and then used allowances to beef up the pay packet. That is unacceptable in this country and cannot be allowed to happen again."

Ms Turei said the party needs to know exactly what Mr Horan is proposing before it can decide whether it would support his measure.

The Labour Party said it would consider any member's bill on its merits, but said legislation is already before the select committee looking at MPs' remuneration and some submitters have made the same suggestion as Mr Horan.

The National Party could not be reached for comment.