The Prime Minister announced today that salaries of all MPs will be frozen for a year. That means there will be no increase – or decrease. They will stay the same. Each year, an independent organisation (it’s called the Remuneration Authority) decides on the salaries of MPs. This year the decision was an increase of 3%. MPs have no control over this decision except to refuse it.
Ms Ardern said she consulted her party and the coalition partners and they all agreed. She then told the other party leaders and they agreed also.
She said that a 3% increase was not a lot, but it was not right for MPs to have an increase in pay, when nurses, teachers and many others are wanting better pay. This government is focussed on lifting the pay of low and middle income earners.
The Remuneration Authority base their recommended increase on increases in salaries for public servants. Ms Ardern thinks there has to be a better way to decide on MPs salaries and plans to make changes in the future.
The basic salary for an MP is $169,961. They also get expenses for travel, secretarial support and living away from home. The Prime Minister is paid $471, 049.
• MPs (n) -Members of Parliament
• independent (adj) – doesn’t belong to the government; they made their own decision
• Remuneration (adj, n) – very formal word for pay
• consulted (v) – asked their opinion
• coalition (n) – the Labour Party is in a coalition with the Greens and New Zealand First Party; the government consists of 3 parties
• secretarial (adj) – from the noun secretary