11 Mar 2014

Call to link MP's pay to median income

11:11 am on 11 March 2014

The Green Party has proposed linking politicians' pay to the median individual income as a way of helping to reduce inequality.

Greens co-leader Russel Norman says MPs got a $3000 pay rise last year but the median individual income rose by just $780.

He says MPs' pay should be linked to the median increase as provided by Statistics New Zealand, rather than being set by the Remuneration Authority each year. In his view, that would incentivise MPs to raise the income of all New Zealanders, especially those at the middle or low end of the pay scale.

"I think it's an important principle that MPs' pay should stop getting out of line with what ordinary New Zealanders are getting," Dr Norman says.

He says MPs' pay is benchmarked to the private sector, which effectively pegs members' salaries to the pay rises of the top income-earners.