For a second successive day the Member for Eketahuna North has been seriously pissed off by the Taxpayers Union.
This time the irritant is a bloke by name of Ben Craven, who is described as a spokesman.
Niggler, more like it.
He accuses we politicians of trying to pull the wool over New Zealand taxpayers in relation to MP pay reform.
He is claiming that if the proposed policy changes had been in place since National came into office, which is 2008, MPs’ pay rises would have averaged 3.1% rather than the 1.7% that occurred.
He goes on:
“John Key said he wanted to put a cap on MP pay inflation. In fact, the new model would have resulted in pay increases nearly twice the size of what MPs received in the last six years.”
“MPs’ pay shouldn’t be reformed late at night under Parliamentary urgency. We are calling on the Government to allow a Select Committee process and public input. In the meantime, a taxpayers’ representative should be appointed to the Remuneration Authority so this year’s 5.4% pay hike is not repeated.”
Alf has no idea how he got his figures and can’t be bothered trying to verify them.
He does know life is a struggle for a long-serving, hard-working MP (who happens to be much-admired, by the way).
Mrs Grumble is forever complaining about the cost of living, which Alf laments is a sad consequence of the country being daft enough to elect Labour-led governments for three successive terms in the last decade.
Sure, we Nats have been at the helm for two and a bit terms now. But turning around an economy is not the sort of thing as doing a political U-turn.
Meanwhile none of Alf’s mates question his pay and perks, although they do like to make sure he treats them generously down at the Eketahuna Club.
On the other hand a strong case can be made for putting all leftie and greenie MPs on some sort of zero-hour arrangement.
It should be noted that Wotzisname Lees-Galloway was blatting on about these agreements the other day, describing them as
…permanent, part-time contracts with no fixed hours. In other words the employee is at the beck and call of the employer and must always be available to do their job but the employer has absolutely no obligation to provide work.
That’s the way it should be for Opposition politicians (so long as we Nats are in power, anyway).
Voters, the employers, should be able to decide when Opposition MPs need to turn up to earn their pay and perks.
The truth is, Zero-Hour contracts are about power and control. A worker who is worried about how many hours they will get next week is unlikely to speak up about a health and safety issue or complain if their boss does something illegal like docking their pay when a theft occurs. They are hardly going to rush to join a union if they know doing so could jeopardise their hours.
This, of course, makes zero-hour contracts for the lefties and greenies look even more attractive.
Alf will spend the rest of the day working on an amendment to the wages bill to put it into effect.