Politicians get pay increase

Our MPs and judges all got a 1.9% pay increase at the end of this year. It was also back-dated to July 1st. This means the pay increase should have started July 1st so they get that extra increase in one big payment. For most back-bench MPs that one-time payment is $1,400. Their salary now has increased from $141,800 a year to $144,600 a year.

Prime Minister John Key’s pay goes from $411,510 to $419,300. His back-pay cheque is $3895.

The salary of a High Court judge is now $395,000 and a District Court judge now gets $300,500.

MPs do not get paid as much as some public service CEOs. The CEO of the Ministry of Education, for example, was paid at least $500,000. CEOs of public companies sometimes receive $1m or more.
Average salaries and wages for workers increased by 5.6 per cent in the last three years; inflation increased by 8 per cent. However, the salaries of MPs increased by only 2.9 per cent in that time.

Vocabulary

• politicians – Members of Parliament (MPs)
• salary – an annual amount. For many people on a salary the annual amount is divided by 26 and they are paid every two weeks.
• wages – a weekly amount; it is paid every week
• back-dated – the date of the increase is July 1st
• back-bench MP – sits at the back of the House; Ministers sit at the front
• one-time cheque; back-pay cheque – they get this cheque for their back pay only one time. When you put two words together like this as an adjective before a noun, sometimes it has a hyphen between the words.
• CEO – Chief Executive Officer
• average – add all the salaries and wages and divide this amount by the number of people who receive the pay
• inflation – measures cost increases each year

Listening

As you listen, write down all the figures (pay increases, salaries and percentages). Then check with the written text.

Questions

1. Do MPs get well paid in your country?
2. Why would anyone want to be an MP or a PM when many of them could receive a higher salary in another job? John Key, for instance, left a highly paid job to become an MP.






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