MPs’ pay rises should be indexed to median income

The Green Party is calling for cross-party support to agree on a system of indexing MPs’ salary movements to median income, following the announcement of a significant pay rise for MPs, the Green Party said today.

“The Green Party is proposing that MPs’ salaries should be indexed to movements in the nominal median individual income,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

“The system needs to change. Every year MPs across Parliament say ‘oh it’s too much’, but then nothing changes. It’s embarrassing, and it’s time for it to end.

“If median incomes go up, MPs’ salaries should go up by the same dollar amount. If median incomes go down, MPs’ salaries should go down by the same dollar amount too. This would be a very simple, fair, and transparent way for the Remuneration Authority to calculate MPs’ salaries.

“Percentage increases just widen the gap between top earners and everyone else. It’s time for a new system for setting MPs’ salaries.

“MPs’ pay rises are always out of step with what most New Zealanders get. MPs’ base salaries are going up by $8200, plus allowances, but the median income rose only $1300 last year.

“It’s time for a cross-party conversation about MPs’ salaries. The Green Party is calling on Parliament to show leadership on this issue.

“Inequality in New Zealand is a serious problem and MPs need to be part of the solution. The current system doesn’t help because MPs’ own salaries are linked to the incomes of the top few percent.

“The Green Party’s policy of indexing MPs’ salaries to the median income would encourage MPs to think more about how their policies and actions affect everyday New Zealanders,” said Dr Norman.