Why I don’t begrudge MPs getting a pay rise and why Key’s move is so craven

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I really don’t buy into the national obsession of hating on MPs for getting pay rises. Most people have no idea what MPs actually do. No idea how busy their lives are. No idea how many hours they have to put in. No idea how little of their families they get to see. We just hate MPs and look at the pathetic amount we get paid and their amounts with all the jealousy of the working poor eyeing up welfare cheques for beneficiaries.

Negative egalitarianism is a cultural trait and it extends to our political leadership.

I believe MPs should get pay rises so that they are inoculated from bribes and I believe their pay rises should be matched for everyone else.

The only reason Key is ramming through this legislation to stop MPs from gaining a pay rise  is because David Farrar has done the over night polling and shown that the grumpy middle are throwing a tantrum over MPs getting more money and because Key has to negotiate some huge public service contracts and can’t have the Unions holding up his pay rise as something they should gain as well.

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Key’s decision to cut back on MP pay so he can pay public servants even less is as craven and self interested as his decision to re-invade Iraq.

22 COMMENTS

  1. The caption accompanying this article’s picture is so appropriate. It should be compulsory with every statement Key, English, Joyce et al make! In the media and in Parliament as well!

    Could even be built in to their clothing, visible, becoming activated every time they open their lying mouths!

  2. I hope the middle realise that the day will come when their imput will no longer be taken into account.

  3. John Key, squeal, he’s so in touch with the people, so humble, so ordinary guy……….whatever! Here we go again, it’s so bloody obvious what is going on here and it’s not the shit he’s spinning.

    National have been starving the public sector since they were first elected over 6 years ago, with the exception of top CEO’s and managers. It doesn’t feel good to watch your spending power drop below the rate of inflation, to know you are poorer than you were last year. Or doing more work with less resources as your workforce shrinks!

    To deal with the lack of money (less than 1% rise per year) I have heard from well informed sources that career people in the PS are having to transfer to another department within their organisation, if they can, not because they want to do that kind of work and worse not that they are even suited to do it but because it’s the only way to get more money. Just imagine the quality that turns out! And National have no intention of changing this policy.

    But when there is so much money to be made by just being in government, having that kind of cause and effect control, even having those “personal” dinners with someone infamous, you know the one’s you can’t remember, well then 5% plus expenses is chicken feed!

  4. The Sleepy Hobbits will think the PM is marvellous a man they can sill admire as has acted in what they’ll see as in the nation’s best interest and a strong proactive leader. Middle NZ who vote National will fail to see the PMs ulterior motives and his that he duplicitous and disingenuous
    The PMs Ratings will go sky high next round of polling as Middle NZ well see that the PM has hurts politicians in the pay packet and middle NZ will enjoy that fact.

  5. I utterly agree Martyn. I am in awe of the diligence of the left wing MP’s I have come across. They work long hours I could never cope with, are expected by the public to be on show 24/7, present themselves in often tense environments and are almost unfailingly well informed and pleasant – they surely earn their pay. This possibly also applies to some MP’s who work on the dark side.

    The msm presenting millionaire Jonkey’s view on this issue as news of merit is yet another rage inducer – of course he personally doesn’t need a wage rise.

  6. I see the paid natz trolls are now on here unliking everything. The powers that be must be a bit annoyed with the left bloggers.

    • @ Anne – the thumb downers you refer to are having a day out. Their keeper the Whaleoil has allowed them out of their cages for the day, to drag their hairy knuckles across to this site, for a taste of some superior alternative news blogging!

      We’ll let them have their fun, before they return to their lock up and mentor, Slater.

  7. One of the principles of the Chartist movement of the 1800’s was that MP’s get paid. At the time, being in parliament came with no salary so you had to be wealthy to be able to serve. Obviously, a House of Commons full of rich people would only have one sector in mind when making laws.

  8. No, I don’t buy all the b…s either. I know that many MPs do give varying amounts of their salary to charities, but there is a fundamental principle here: an automatic right to an increase without any negotiation, claims or anyone to vet it all: a rubber stamp closed shop. To give some of it to charities is all very nice but it would be better to give it back to the ones who pay it in the first place: us!
    If MPs are genuine about not wanting salary increases, but really are powerless to do anything about it then I have a couple of simple solutions: 1. voluntarily go onto a higher marginal tax rate and/or 2. stop claiming all the rebates that you do. 3. stop redirecting your income through trusts so that you pay a whole lot less tax than most average earners. If you really believe you don’t deserve any more, than give more of it back and that will balance it out.
    The challenge for John Key and other MPs who are playing coy with their salaries is to cut the crocodile tears and pay it back to us and show that you are genuine. I wonder how many will take this course?

  9. I wonder if he will also rush through legislation banning all donations and sponsorships to political parties and MP’s at the same time?

  10. I only take issue with one point you make Martyn. That is paying MP’s a decent wage is OK by me but that has not stopped the dodgy one’s from lining their pockets as we know from the recent exposure in the UK of Straw and Rifkind.$10,000 a day to corporates to buy contacts, influence and policy. This is not a left and right issue either, both sides are as bad.
    For me it is more that they seem to come to politics without any real core beliefs (unless they are National) parliament is now just another profession, no sense of public service required. Just a sense of entitlement to a career and as many perks as can be milked.
    I accept that there are exceptions but to me it takes more than money to make a decent group of representatives.

  11. “Inoculated from bribes”? Some of them would take bribes no matter how much they were paid – because they are corrupt.

    There is no way MPs deserve their current salaries with or without a pay rise. They should get the average wage.

    • Martyn,

      It is just Key doing what he always does, “Opportunism knocked again” so he turns bad press into positive for him press, so he has a slimy side for sure.

      Bet the National MP’s expenses accounts are unleashed on his MP’s so they can still afford to skip around the globe on their Propaganda missions.

      A snake in the grass is he.

    • I like the idea of paying Parliamentarians and Local Councillors are salary based on the minimum wage with a fixed multiplier. This would not only rationalise their salaries but also force more attention on the minimum wage.

  12. I’m waiting to see if Key is going to pay himself the salary of a CEO of a government department, around half a million a year?
    I dunno re MP’s pay- all public servants should get pay increases that at least match the cost of living, which of course they are not. Should MP’s get higher increases than other public servants? If MP’s do more hours than most public servants, sure , pay them accordingly for that ( but bearing in mind all the perks they get). But the actual rate of increase could be matched to public servants, except it shouldn’t be 1% for anyone of course. Maybe if it matched to public servants’ rate of increase, the MP’s will get behind the PSA and the teacher unions efforts to raise their pay? Perhaps they should themselves join a union?

  13. While we’re about it, let’s bring all benefit amounts and increases in line with the public service salaries and increases as well.

    ( I won’t even begin to compare to compare the hard work of a mother with a baby working 24 hours per day, with the value of a politician’s work..)

    Why should mothers doing the most important work on the planet receive no pay at all, and have to beg for crumbs to barely survive? (called a “benefit” or “allowance”, “food grant” etc) , or if they are very lucky, they might Paid Parental Leave for a few weeks.

  14. Yeah and “negative egalitarianism” is such a huge problem facing our society right now- NOT- in times of ever escalating rates of inequality. Sounds like a phrase from “Planet Key”? Yet I do think that MP’s should be comfortable and supported enough to not have to worry about money as they go about their business representing New Zealanders.

  15. Sure, let’s give the MPs a chance of a pay increase, why not? Let’s just tie it to the improvement in wages at a designated level, say the 20th percentile. This avoids easily manipulated, but not very meaningful things on a percentage basis such as benefit hikes, or nominal increases of the minimum wage, but rather makes sure that their pay rises are reflective of genuine and widespread improvements in the lot of the poorer sections of society. It is just as rational as tying it to any other section or level and might just do a bit of good. Tying their wages to Public Servant wages, which have been stagnant over the past few years, while MP salaries have continued to rise, will only cement in their relative advantage in relativity terms, while doing nothing to financially incentivize them to consider national income disparity. (One would hope that they are not so petty as to be swayed by this, but you never go broke betting on venality).

  16. I do have a problem with MPs getting those pay rises. They are members of the public service like nurses, teachers, police, and so on. Their pay rise should be no more than anyone else. Key is correct to stop these pay rises, albeit that it could have been done a few years ago.

    • Animal farm , anyone?….it is noted that at least Che Guevara worked often 16 hour days labouring after all his political duties….

      And while he was an extreme case punting a ‘look at me , Im doing it so you can do ‘ stance….this is no less what the little neo liberal shit PM is doing.

      And no ,…I do not agree with any more further pay increases for these characters. Not until wages are addressed realistically for people who work doing the jobs no one else wants to do.

      And by realistically – I mean keeping ahead of inflation , the capacity to save and the capacity to only have to work one job. And to be awarded double time when necessary and have the choice to not undertake ( if so desired ) that work without fear of job loss.

      Then and only then will the working poor be able to stop subsidizing these scummy little businesses that rely on fear of job loss, ignorance of NZ’s labour laws and cheap immigrant labour that is geared towards gaining citizenry at all costs keeping below the radar , – including the cost of exploitation.

      As far as many of these politicians are concerned , especially the neo liberal dregs ,…they are already well of. They have the best of accountancy and legal advice at their fingertips. They are not naive.

      And they play this population like a song. If they were really in the job for the right reasons ( think nurses , firemen , police , teachers ) they wouldn’t dare accept pay rises. They shut up and put up like the rest of us have to.

      These people are not servants , they are gluttons and thieves and con men.

      They can get fucked.

      Until that day when the vulnerable sectors of this society are looked after properly – then the only reward many of them deserve is to be sat on their arse and ejected from parliament.

      You ‘ll not be convincing me of anything else , Martyn. Not after 35 years of the bullshit animal farm pigs at the trough that’s gone on in this fair land.

      300,000 people work at the minimum wage in this country at present. Now that is a lot of families affected. If neo liberalism was so fucking effective – why do we have so many poor?

      Sorry mate , this is where we part ways.

      The people of France at one time thought the same . As do many of the politicians of South America today. Scandinavia beleieves it , And so do I.

      And so do many , many other people in this country today.

      My word of advice….. clean up the neo liberal open sewerage causing the shit and malaise and you will start to cure the disease.

      The first to go would be the little shit who’s pretended to be PM for the last 6 years , following that….the purge can begin.

      The country would slowly and surely start to heal itself towards a more egalitarian and fair and open society ….the one many enjoyed when growing up.

      The real New Zealand.

      The one that was the golden era that spawned the national sense of identity of a ‘ fair go for all ‘ which still struggles to assert itself in an age of endorsed greed, avarice and corruption .

      Is this the sort of country we really want? A country that barely distinguishes itself from other corrupt nations that currently sit on the United Nations?

      Do we reallly want to be represented by such an odious liar as Key? …John XKeysCORE?…..REMEMBER THAT ?

      The only reward that should be on offer for these neo liberal cockroaches should be the opportunity to repent in full contriteness for the treasonous assassination of what was once the very values of what the majority of New Zealanders once held dear.

      When you are going before the citizenship ceremony of Australia, … you are spoken to about ‘ Mateship ‘ …yes – ‘Mateship’ ….in other words… the things Aussies hold dear…and one of those is the egalitarianism that STILL makes that the ; Lucky Country’.

      A sense of national identity that endorses the good things about thier own country , a sense of community about who they really are.

      Is it any wonder you may ask why the pointy headed little neo liberal shit Abbot is on his last legs after being shown the door in Queensland???!!!

      Do you think that result all came about from sheer happenstance???

      Or was it a sense of national pride , a sense of belonging and national values and identity that put Abbot out on his arse and on the ropes?

      I speak not for the plight of Kiwis in Aussie ,…but for the Aussies themselves…they are far more politically adept than we are even though we love to sling of at them in a childish manner.

      As for the war in Irag and our sending troops…we really cant say we are any different if we do send troops – under any pretense.

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