Govt backs down on MP pay Bill riddled with basic errors

The Government’s attempt to change the formula for setting MPs’ salaries could be riddled with embarrassing errors, the Green Party said today.

"It looks like John Key’s failed attempt to give MPs smaller pay rises could have actually resulted in larger pay rises, so the Government has had to buy some time for its mistakes to be fixed,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

Parliament had been due to debate the Remuneration Authority Amendment Bill last night, but the debate did not occur.

“We have serious concerns about the basic maths that underlie what the Government is trying to do,” said Mrs Turei.

“John Key said he was legislating to make MPs’ pay rises smaller, but it looks like his Bill could actually make them bigger.

“The Government either stuffed up or misled New Zealand about how it was trying to change MPs’ salaries.

“We can’t guarantee support for the Bill until we’ve seen if the final version will be effective and checked that the numbers add up.

“This is one reason why legislating under urgency is a risk. Good laws take time to develop so we know that they’ll work properly.

“The Green Party has long advocated for a fairer and simpler way to determine MPs’ salaries, by linking them to the nominal median income.

“Our policy is very straight forward: if the median income rises by $500, so do MPs’ salaries. If it falls by $500, so do MPs’ salaries.

“In addition, we’ve proposed an alternative solution using the Labour Cost Index for the public service.

“Both of our proposals would have delivered smaller pay rises than the Government’s proposal. John Key needs to seriously consider our solutions now that his proposal looks like a farce,” Mrs Turei said.