Are MP pay cuts voluntary?

Thu, 14 May, 2020

“The Government’s Budget initiative to cut MP pay is about time but comes with a fishhook”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
 
“I first raised this issue on 17 March. I sought to introduce legislation that would have cut all MPs’ pay on 28 April and 5 May. On both occasions, Labour vetoed the legislation.
 
“They say there’s no limit to what you can achieve if you don’t care who takes the credit. I’m glad Labour is now introducing its own legislation to cut MP pay, having vetoed mine.
 
“However, there’s a major fishhook in Labour’s initiative. It appears to be giving the Remuneration Authority the ‘option’ of reducing MP pay by 20 percent for six months. It appears Labour’s MP pay cut is not compulsory.

“A voluntary measure would be offensive to the many private sector workers who have no choice but to take a pay cut, let alone those who have lost their job completely.

“I wonder if they don't have a rebellion in their ranks. Are Labour backbenchers saying they won’t wear a compulsory reduction? Are the Greens going to claim donations to their own party mean they needn’t take a cut? Are New Zealand First MPs refusing because they believe they’re entitled to the baubles of office?

“It is now a month since Jacinda Ardern was happy to bathe in global media adulation for cutting MPs’ pay. The month’s delay shows she not only wasn’t ready, but had no idea how to actually do it. Once again, the MP pay cut was great marketing and disastrous delivery from the Prime Minister.”