Greens push for smaller pay rises for MPs

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 13:42 09/03/2014

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The Green Party is urging for a change to how MPs' salaries are set, in a bid to curb their annual pay rises.

That would make a difference of thousands of dollars in the amount MPs received extra each year.

In a policy announced today, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said MPs' salaries should only rise to match the rise in median incomes in dollar terms.

MPs usually receive an annual increase that largely rises in line with pay rises in the general population - though because it is in percentage terms, not dollar terms, it can be worth significantly more.

During the global financial crisis MPs asked for a zero pay increase.

Norman said under the Green Party's policy MPs' salaries would rise or fall by the same dollar amount that median incomes increased or fell.

"Rather than the current annual review carried out by the Remuneration Authority that sets MPs' salaries, the Remuneration Authority would be required to apply the annual change in median individual income supplied by Statistics New Zealand.

"The Green Party thinks that MPs' salary increases or decreases should be directly linked to the movement in the incomes of middle New Zealand."

Norman said the base salary for an MP rose by $3000 last year, while over the same period, the median individual income rose by $780.

"If this policy was in place, MPs' salaries would have increased by $780."

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