6 Nov 2009

MPs' pay freeze shouldn't apply to public service - PSA

7:50 am on 6 November 2009

A decision not to grant MPs a pay increase should not apply across the wider public service, a union believes.

The Remuneration Authority reviews the pay and allowance rates of MPs and has determined that there should be no adjustment this year.

At present, a Cabinet minister receives more than $243,000 annually, while an MP is paid $131,000.

The Public Service Association says given the pay gap between the average wage of a public servant and an MP, it is unrealistic to expect public servants to also accept no pay rise.

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed the decision not to give MPs a pay increase, saying it is in line with the wishes of all political parties in Parliament.

Mr Key says the Government is urging restraint in the public service.

Legislation allowing the authority to take heed of the economic climate when determining MPs' salaries is still before the House, but Mr Key says it is pleasing that the authority has chosen to act before the new legislation is implemented.

The ruling covers the period from July this year until the end of next June.