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

February 27, 2015

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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.

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Let’s celebrate a bit of political togetherness – when it comes to our perks, we MPs can stand as one

August 10, 2013

Never thought you would hear this from the true-blue Member for Eketahuna North – but Labour’s Ruth Dyson has got something right at long last.

As chairwoman of the select committee that has sorted things out on the important matter of the travel perks we MPs enjoy, and have earned, she has stood up and said the Speaker of the House is the proper authority to set our allowances.

Not an independent body outside Parliament.

Hence we have that rare thing in Parliament: agreement between Government and opposition MPs.

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Hamilton Mayor’s spending raises hackles – but Len Brown makes her look downright austere

April 4, 2012

Alf hesitated before railing either for or against the spending chalked up by Hamilton’s Mayor.

He is torn on this one, because he is somewhat fond of perks and recognises that if he fancies getting the same sorts of favours as the Mayor, which he regards as his due, then he shouldn’t be too critical.

But hey. Being a two-faced hypocrite is one of the perks that goes with being a politician – isn’t it?

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Dear Crusher: If it’s good enough for zoo keepers to shoot to kill escapers, why not prison escapers too?

May 7, 2011


Is this Crusher popping down to the shops?

Mrs Grumble has just typed a letter for Alf to sign and send to the admirable Corrections Minister, Crusher Collins.

Alf was tempted to raise the matter of Crusher’s petrol expenses, but decided that would be counter-productive.

It would be apt to get her back up, and when Crusher gets her back up she can become more than somewhat shrewish.

But more of that later.

Alf’s purpose was to recommend the hiring of Paul Horton for a job in the Corrections Service, to look after our more dangerous prison inmates.

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Lesson from the UK: before you get a watchdog, check out the bugger’s feeding habits

March 14, 2011

Why British taxpayers should be saying: "what a drag."

The trouble with watchdogs is that the buggers need feeding, and some have huge appetities.

They need walking, too.

The Poms are learning this the hard way.

Their Government is feeding a watchdog who chews through bucks – sorry, make that pounds – like Parekura Horomia chomps through burgers.

He is Eugene Sullivan, whose job (Alf does relish irony) is curbing wasteful public spending.

According to the Daily Mail, he is being paid a £4,070-a-year “travel allowance”

… even though his daily commute is a
one-minute walk between his office and a four-star hotel.

The Daily Mail eagerly dishes up the details –

Eugene Sullivan, the £180,000-a-year chief executive of the Audit Commission – motto: ‘protecting the public purse’ – charges taxpayers £18,000 a year for his stays at the luxury Westminster hotel, plus more than £5,000 a year in train fares, taxis and car mileage.

On top of that he receives the “travel” allowance, although the hotel is 164 yards from his office.

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A curious tale of Crome, gnomes and chrome domes

October 31, 2009

Mrs Grumble reckons this bloke...


...would sit comfortably with this - but which one would be uglier?

Alf reckons the news media, now in a feeding frenzy after Rodney Hide sullied his image as a perk-buster, are asking the wrong questions of the wrong person.

They are focussing on Rodney and naturally, when they ask him about his perk-busting lapse, he makes no apology but says he would do it again, using his MP’s travel expenses to take his partner overseas.

Obviously this has something to do with hormones running rampant.

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More spillover from the parliamentary trough

August 9, 2009

Labour MP Chris Carter – as Alf has long suspected – obviously isn’t one for taking good advice.

It seems he has been cautioned by colleagues over recent years to cut down on his overseas travel. Or say the Weekend Herald is saying on the strength of “several sources.”

But he’s been disagreeably feisty on the subject –

An unrepentant Mr Carter yesterday defended his ministerial travel bill from last year as Education Minister, which was $83,000, and his parliamentary spending bill so far for this year, which is $82,000, as Labour’s foreign affairs spokesman and MP for Te Atatu.
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Prison is on the cards, but without perks

August 7, 2009

Commendable work by Mr Speaker.

As Alf learned from colleagues yesterday, reaffirmed by the NZ Herald today, Lockwood Smith is moving “relatively quickly” to cancel the generous private international travel perks for former Labour MP Taito Phillip Field because of his conviction for bribery and corruption.

But what about the malefactor’s missus?

Whether Field’s wife will keep her perks is not certain.

Maxine Field is entitled to the same rebate as her husband – 90 per cent off any international up to about $10,000 a year, as well as 12 domestic return flights.
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Public servants on a slimming regime

February 18, 2009

Finance Minister Bill English today announced he will deliver the 2009/10 Budget on May 28.

BustedBlonde , meanwhile, was delighting her readers at Roarprawn with an account of public servants having to lop big bucks from departmental spending plans and tailor their work (and play) habits accordingly.

It would be “a responsible Budget,” English said in a media statement (silly, really – would anyone expect him to signal an irresponsible budget?).

There was further rhetoric of the sort Finance Ministers can’t resist when grand-standing about their Budgets.
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