14 Dec 2015

Politicians' pay up 3 to 4 percent

5:00 pm on 14 December 2015

The Remuneration Authority has given the Prime Minister and MPs a Christmas pay rise in its latest determination.

The pay rise is backdated to July this year and varies between 3 and 4 percent.

It follows legislation passed in March reversing an authority decision giving MPs a 3.5 percent pay rise.

The authority then approved a 1.5 percent increase from 1 July 2014 to align MPs' salaries with public sector pay rises.

In the current determination, Prime Minister John Key's salary goes up $13,000 to $448,569.

Deputy Prime Minister Bill English gets a $10,000 pay rise going to $318,760.

The leader of the opposition, Labour's Andrew Little, receives $281,881, going up from $272,581.

An ordinary MP's salary, meanwhile, goes up by $6000 to $156,136.

Spouses and partners

The authority said it had changed the travel entitlements for parliamentarians' spouses and partners.

"Where previously there was an unlimited travel entitlement for spouses and partners of members and ministers, the new determination sets limits on the amount of personal travel and a requirement that the travel be connected to the member's parliamentary or ministerial business," it said.

It said it had assessed the "potential personal benefit" per MP and that amounted to $2590, which it had taken into account when adjusting MPs' salaries.

The authority said it had also taken into account the change in the ordinary weekly earnings of full-time employees in the public sector. It said that was 2.62 percent between 2014 and 2015.