Pay rises and perks – some MPs say they don’t deserve them but here’s betting few give them back

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You can be sure the Dom-Post mob didn’t bother chatting with Alf.

The tossers are saying MPs are reluctant to accept an $8200 pay rise and are calling for the system that rewards them to be overhauled.

You can put your money on Alf not being among those breast-beating plonkers.

Come to think of it, you have put your money on Alf because you have been paying his salary every since he was first elected.

And now you will be putting a bit more into his pocket after the Remuneration Authority published its determination which hikes a back-bencher’s salary by 5.4 per cent to $156,000 a year.

Not enough and Alf admits he is not in step with The Boss, who will get an extra $23,400 a year but says he doesn’t want it.

Perhaps that’s because he and Bill English keep banging on about the need for restraint in public service spending (Bill gets $16,900 more in his pocket, by the way, but doesn’t understand why and is agreeing with The Boss that the authority must explain the rise).

Alf would be getting a bigger pay rise if only The Boss had rewarded him with the Cabinet post he deserves after many years of loyal service to the National cause, not to speak of talent in buckets. Ministers with more than one portfolio have scored increases of almost $15,000.

Listening to the talk-back loonies it seems there is powerful opposition to these pay rises.

But dammit, there has been some trimming of our perks as the Dom-Post acknowledged:

Rules around travel and other perks were recently tightened, and they are now set by the Remuneration Authority as part of the salary package.

In its determination, the authority explained it calculated travel perks given to MPs and their families as $3200 – which it says is less than they got in previous years.

It also doesn’t seem to think MPs got enough.

It noted that: “based on current movements in remuneration for top-level executive positions, the gap between market remuneration and the remuneration of senior members of the Executive and Parliament is increasing…the Authority continues to have concerns at the widening gap between the remuneration of Ministers and the chief executives and staff reporting to them and will continue to review the gap annually.”

Chairman John Errington said tonight that it is MPs who set his authority’s rules.

Indeed. And you can count on this one not wanting to change them to his disadvantage.

True, a lot of attention has been drawn to the the 50c rise in the minimum wage to $14.75 an hour from April 1.

But West Coast list MP Kevin Hague – who was carping about the minium wage increse being miserable – isn’t saying if he will be handing back any of his increase because he already donates a “significant” part of his income to charity.

Maybe he should hop down for a big mac or a carton of finger’ lickin’ good chicken and chips and give the staff there a big tip.

But whoa. The Greens would rather fast-food businesses had their sales seriously constrained so that poor people don’t get fat.

If anyone took notice of the Greens, this  would put some of those minimum-wage workers out of work, or result in their hours being reduced.

So let’s not imagine Hague and his mates have too much consideration for fast-food staffs, whatever they might say about the adequacy of the minimum wage.









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