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Updated at 8:37 am on 7 October 2011
MPs face an embarrassing pay rise just a week or two before November's general election and are already saying they do not need it.
The Remuneration Authority is due to announce a pay rise within four to five weeks to compensate MPs for having lost their international travel subsidy.
Last year, the authority gave MPs and ministers a 1.4% pay rise as well as an extra $2000 a year to take account of falling use of the travel subsidy, but did not fully compensate MPs for losing the travel entitlement.
The authority's chairman, John Errington, has confirmed he expects a decision on that to be released within the next four to five weeks.
If the authority decides to pass on most of the $10,700 estimated value of the travel entitlement, MPs will get a hefty boost to their salaries, which begin at $134,800 a year.
However, MPs are reluctant to take the money, particularly as low-paid workers such as cleaners struggle on $13.50 an hour.
Labour Party deputy leader Annette King says MPs have already said they do not want a pay rise.
Finance Minister Bill English says MPs have no control over the way remuneration is determined because it is handled by an independent authority.
The election will be held on 26 November.
Prime Minister - $400,500
Deputy Prime Minister - $282,500
Cabinet Minister - $249,100
Minister outside Cabinet - $209,100
Speaker - $249,100
Deputy Speaker - $174,200
Opposition Leader - $249,100
Other party leader - $148,500
Select committee chair - $148,500
Backbench MP - $134,800
Copyright © 2011, Radio New Zealand
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