Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Govt again refuses to debate MP pay cuts

“For the second time in two weeks, the Government has refused to debate legislation that would cut MPs’ pay”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Last week, Grant Robertson vetoed the introduction of a bill that would cut the salaries of all MPs by 20 percent for six months. This week, Chris Hipkins objected.

“Parliament could have debated the first reading this Thursday, sent it to the Epidemic Response Committee for three days, and passed the bill through its remaining stages late next week.

“Three weeks ago, the Government promised that Ministers and public sector chief executives would take pay cuts in solidarity with the private sector. Although it should have gone further and included all MPs, the sentiment was correct.

“We’ve seen no sign of Government legislation that would give effect to the Prime Minister’s announcement. The Government says it will enact its MP pay cut plan ‘soon’, but we heard that last week. Taking a month to introduce a straightforward piece of legislation is not good enough.

“I’ve been calling for all MPs to take a pay cut since mid-March. I drafted a bill and shared it with other political parties a month ago.

“All parties agree that parliamentarians should share the sacrifices the private sector is making.

“Legislation will be required to give effect to the Prime Minister’s announcement. Since the Government is has refused to debate and pass ACT’s legislation twice now, it must explain what its own plan is.”