28 May 2015

MPs' salaries aligned with public sector pay rises

8:56 pm on 28 May 2015

The Remuneration Authority has issued a new determination on the salaries of MPs to align their pay with public sector pay rises.

Legislation passed in March reversed an Authority determination giving MPs a three-point-five percent payrise.

The Authority has now approved around a 1.5 percent increase from the first of July last year.

That was revised down from the original Authority determination released last year, which gave politicians a 3.5 percent pay rise.

Prime Minister John Key says that it was a better way way of setting MPs pay and the 1.5 percent was "substantially less" than what the Remuneration Authority had originally wanted to give MPs.

Act Party leader David Seymour said it was the right thing to do.

"Whatever you do you're going to have difficulties - is it going to be inflation, is it going to be the private sector pay rates, is it going to be public sector pay rates....

"I can't imagine any framework that is going to be perfect."

National MP and Minister Steven Joyce said 1.5 percent was certainly a lot more reasonable than before.

He was not in Government for the money.

"From my perspective my motivation for being here is the public service aspect of it - not in terms of whether I am earning as much as a chief executive."

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said it was not necessary for MPs to get a payrise.

"The Green Party proposed that MPs' pay rises should be attached to the normal increases in the median wage so that our pay increases were directly connected to ordinary New Zealand workers."

Labour's Grant Robertson also thought there was still room for improvement.

"My concern all along has been that the Government actually controls public sector pay rises so there is an element in which we are part of our own pay rise again. But look you know that's the system we've got and we'll leave it to the public to decide."

The Authority will release its next determination for MPs' pay towards the end of the year.

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