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Politician salary rises and the minimum wage increase

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, February 27th, 2015 - 106 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, class, class war, john key, journalism, making shit up, Media, national, national/act government, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

My tourettes has been playing up again. Every time I have seen John Key recently I have had this overwhelming urge to swear. It usually manifests itself by the urge to repeat two words, the first starting with “f” and the second one being “liar”.

Clearly National’s PR was working overtime yesterday to try and confuse the reality that our Members of Parliament are getting a hefty salary increase a few days after the minimum wage was raised by a paltry 0.50c per hour.  For a 40 hour week a worker on the minimum wage will receive an extra $20 gross per week whereas a backbench MP will receive $157 and the Prime Minister will receive an extra $458.

As a sweetener to our elected representatives the increase is going to be backdated to June last year.  The working poor will not receive the same benefit.

The commission says part of the increase is because MPs have had their travel allowance curtailed.  No doubt most MPs will now travel less and pocket the increase.

There was some confusion yesterday morning with this leak to Stuff suggesting that the increase for a backbencher was going to be $10,000 per annum.  No doubt everyone breathed a sigh of relief when they realised it was only going to be $8,200.  Or at least this may have been the intention.

And the media have continued with this facade reporting Key as saying that he asked for the increase to be modest at most and that he does not want it but it is out of his control.

As Idiot Savant has pointed out Key has said this before.  He said it in 2010, and in 2011, and in 2013 and again now.

And each time some poor sap has to be trotted out to confirm that Key asked them to keep the rise as low as possible but they are duty bound by the law and the increase was reached by strictly applying the statutory formula.  The law requires the Remuneration Authority to consult but the matters to consider are limited to maintain relativity, to recognise the need to be fair to the employee and the taxpayer and to acknowledge the need to recruit and retain competent persons.  It is certainly arguable that the law is failing the third criterion.

This morning on Morning Report Guyon Espiner asked Key about his numerous statements on the subject.  I/S’s post has obviously been read by the media.

My tourettes hit again, mainly because Key kept dodging the question of why he has not changed the law if this is to be a problem for so long.  He confirmed that he gave a portion of his salary to charity but has in the past suggested that the National Party is a charity.

Russell Norman was then interviewed.  He proposed linking salary increases to any increase in the median wage.  This suggestion has a great deal of attraction.

The basic problem is that the significant increase in Politicians’ pay is the result of the flow of money and resources to the richest 1%. As their greed and their rewards have leapt out of control to maintain relativities MPs wages have also been increased.

Key is being completely disingenuous about this issue and the media is letting him get away with it.  He is the Prime Minister.  He is the leader of the largest party in Parliament.  He would have the backing of much of the opposition if he proposed a law change to limit increases to a more reasonable level.

He is wasting his breath by asking the Remuneration Authority to do what they are not allowed to do.  Only a law change will achieve what he says he wants.

If the media are doing their job they will never again sympathetically report Key’s expressions of regret.  They will instead say that he has refused to do anything to prevent our politicians being paid an increasingly larger amount than our working poor.

106 comments on “Politician salary rises and the minimum wage increase ”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Exactly Mickey if Key had wanted it changed he could have changed the law years ago. We all know this poor excuse for a Government loves to use urgency to change all sorts of laws that suit its bidders purpose. They can do it when they want to but Key simply does not want to stop licking the mixing bowl.

  2. ianmac 2

    When Mr Conman Key looks the camera in the eye and says to us that he thinks that the law should be changed (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015), he looks so sincere. Thank goodness he just knows what is the “right thing to do” and will soon have “the guts to do that right thing!”

  3. Murray Simmonds 3

    Yep, he was a slippery as an eel in a tub of oil on “Morning Report” this morning when questioned about why he hasn’t bothered to “akshully” do something about it.

    Reminded me a bit of the “Minister of biosecurity and other things to be ignored.” You know the one who wrote to the oil companies, last week was it? – He told us all about how he’d written to tell them how he wrote about how “unhappy” he was regarding petrol pricing at the pump.

    I suspect he wrote that with his left hand, while his right hand was counting the extra tax revenue that the government pulls in every time the oil companies delay a drop in petrol prices.

    Disingenuous twits fooling around with public opinion to try to give the impression that they are doing something for the people when in fact nothing could be further from their minds.

  4. Colonial Rawshark 4

    Let’s put a concrete proposal on the table. That henceforth the minimum wage shall increase at 1.1x the percentage rate of MPs pay increases. The Remuneration Authority shall add that in as a factor in its calculations for the appropriate increase in MP salaries.

    In this scenario the minimum wage would now be $15.08/hour or thereabouts instead of $14.75/hour.

    • Tracey 4.1

      Let’s see the Opposition parties draft a Bill to make your changes or ANY changes.

      What is the total value of the increases when all MP salary increases are added together?

      • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1

        I’m guessing it’s around $1.5M-$2.0M extra pa.

        Or the increase from 3.5 million minimum wage hours worked.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          $2,000,000 / $14.75/hour = 135,593.2 hours

          Of course, we could actually do a hell of a lot of work for the community if we hired people to do stuff rather than just increase politicians salary and we’d have less unemployment. Say we pay people $30/hour that’d drop the hours down to 66,666.7 hours which equates to 32 more people employed full time per year.

          Now just think of what we could do if we dropped all public servants (including those working for SOEs) salaries down to a maximum of $150k/year. We could probably get away with employing hundreds if not thousands more people to do those essential government services.

          • Colonial Rawshark 4.1.1.1.1

            The difference mate, the difference. $2M pa more for the MPs is the equivalent of the working class working 4M hours more at 50c extra an hour.

    • Murray Rawshark 4.2

      I like that idea. The pay increases for MPs would be directly linked to the miracles they performed for the economy.

  5. So MP’s salary rose, does that now mean we have to fire some? I mean that is the argument against minimum wage increase – that there will be fewer jobs.

    If so I can think of some names I would like to nominate… At least one of them are on their final warning

    • Tracey 5.1

      Sadly they are on a golden 3 year contract which contains no firing clauses unless their is criminal misconduct or the PM says so. That’s the same for minimum wage workers, right?

      • You_Fool 5.1.1

        Don’t forget the perks they pick up, and some they get to keep after long(ish) term service – so yeah exactly like minimum wage….

    • BassGuy 5.2

      I’m getting a pay increase? Cool, I didn’t realise that. (Computer broke, so I don’t get to read much in the news. I’m saving what I can of my minimum wage to buy a replacement part eventually.)

      Coincidentally, my workplace has installed some slightly secondhand equipment that can be automated, ultimately ditching 3 out of 6 jobs, and another new piece is on its way, which will further end another job.

      It’s not the minimum wage increase that’s caused this, though, as those jobs are all publicly funded. Where would the employer steal his wages from if they weren’t?

  6. Never in my lifetime have I seen a worse Govt, and that time goes way back to Walter Nash.
    Even Muldoon was more up front than this lot, with him we expected the unexpected.
    We are now getting cock up after cock up and they don’t even blink an eye.

    Trouble is Key seems to avoid answering to any one about anything any more, he would far sooner be away from Parliament opening some Town Hall in some obscure part of the country where is among his mates and with his minders.

    Some of his backbenchers must squirm at his antics.
    But they are as guilty , as they do nothing about it.

  7. framu 7

    also – with the greens idea we can get rid of the renumeration authority and just get an accountant or two

    plus – its performance pay.

    think of the savings and reduction in red tape!

    Listened to the head of the RA on RNZ yesterday – the guy sounded like he genuinely didnt understand what the fuss was about

  8. millsy 8

    If MP’s do not want their payrise, perhaps they should so some guts and donate it to their local school…

  9. framu 9

    and yet again RNZ gets jordan bloody williams on as some sort of authority!!

    just how far do you have to be shown as a dishonest player before the MSM in the country stops getting you on for interviews and sound bites?

    • You_Fool 9.1

      I hope that the TPU were suitably outraged at this spending of public money and called on JK to immediately propose new legislation to fix this issue or resign.

      I also assume they were very critical of JK in that he has complained about this situation for 5 years but done nothing on it, despite being the one in power who could actually do something about it.

  10. freedom 10

    Just now on RNZ’s 11 a.m. news, the familiar old chestnut is rolled out, again.

    “John Key says he donates a significant portion of his salary to charity”

    So the roll out of the same old questions will continue.

    if the PM is stating such a grand fact, is there not some way to demand the PM says what portion of his salary “a significant portion” represents? If only there was some magical mechanism with which the public can actually get some facts broadcast within the spin?

    If only there was some fantasy land operation where people gathered information, researched details, asked questions, checked answers, then reported on their findings as a reply to such grand statements. I even have a name we could use. We could call it journalism.

    • Tracey 10.1

      he could tell us how much and which charities but he won’t…

      • freedom 10.1.1

        He has a number of Radio and TV appearances in the next seven days, shall we hold our breath to see if a journo out there gets some guts and asks him?

        Maybe the PM should be challenged to get some guts and answer the question.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        Even if he did I’d want to see receipts.

    • Tanz 10.2

      As he is filfthy rich to start with, his donations are meaningless, he earns it all back in interest and then some. Once upon a time, MPs’ salaries were not much more than a teachers’ or doctor’s, now they are in the stratosphere, and only CEO’s etc can keep up.
      Something very wrong with the system…meanwhile, the minimim wage stays exactly that…no wonder resentment and poverty is simmering…how totally morally bankrupt Key and his cronies are.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Yek isn’t smiling in that picture. I hardly recognised him so used am I to his benign or happy-clappy persons. He looks quite hawk-like. Watch out you mousy NZs he’ll peck you up, and eviscerate you.

    Who is the white haired bloke behind with the upside-down smiley?

    • DoublePlusGood 11.1

      I believe it’s Tim McIndoe, looks the closest based on National party website photos.

    • freedom 11.2

      Tim Macindoe http://www.timmacindoe.co.nz/

      A fine upstanding Parliamentary Puppet Representative with a proud history of important works like … umm …the … oh .. wait, what was it.. it’ll come to me hang on

      There’s his fighting KiwiRail to stop improvements to public transport and ease the amount of road freight haulage

      He also opposed the Marriage Amendment Bill, which legalized same-sex marriage.

      He campaigned to raise the drinking age but voted to keep it at 18.

      He has fliddle fladdled on Paid Parental Leave so often that it is difficult to know what his views actually are.

      Sometimes he gets to ask a question in the House, so that’s nice.
      In short, he is a National MP to the core, Hoorah

      • stever 11.2.1

        🙂

        But compared to the other Hamilton guy, Macindoe is a star!

      • greywarshark 11.2.2

        Thanks for that nicely fleshed-out obituary cv freedom. (I put the strike-out HTML for obituary but didn’t work. As is common with my computer and output SNAFU.)

        • freedom 11.2.2.1

          I know in the faq it says just use an ‘s’ but that never works for me. 🙁
          Which i find odd as italic works just fine using only the ‘i’
          I use the whole word ‘strike’ to get strikeout working, (and don’t forget the / before the word for ending the strike)

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    …and to acknowledge the need to recruit and retain competent persons.

    Interestingly enough we’re not actually recruiting politicians – they’re asking us for the job. As such, we should be the ones setting the amount paid by referendum. This amount would then be fixed unless another referendum is called.

    He is wasting his breath by asking the Remuneration Authority to do what they are not allowed to do. Only a law change will achieve what he says he wants.

    And the fact that he’s not making that law change is proof that he doesn’t actually want to decrease the salary increases that politicians get.

  13. Lanthanide 13

    IMO backbench MPs should be getting around $120k or so, perhaps with a small increase for those who are in their 2+ term of Parliament. There should also be some salary consideration (if there isn’t already) for electorate MPs.

    I don’t have too much of an opinion on the salaries for ministers etc, except so much as they should all be reduced by the same quantum as the backbench salary would be reduced by (so ~$35k less).

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      The electorate MPs thing you raise is an important point. If base salary for MPs was circa $120K pa and then an additional say $1K per month for electorate MPs, that would reflect the additional electorate work that they (are supposed to) do.

    • tracey 13.2

      when key dropped secret services role why didnt he get a pay cut?

      • Lanthanide 13.2.1

        I expect Prime Minister salary add-on replaces all other ministerial add-ons.

        • Lanthanide 13.2.1.1

          This therefore suggests a bizarre idea: a PM who takes on every ministry for themselves and doesn’t appoint a cabinet, all in the name of saving public money…

  14. nadis 14

    MP salaries should be linked to some multiple of the average of (policeman, teacher, nurse). Would make the relativities between back-benchers, cabinet ministers, leaders etc as you have an easily comparable hierarchy in police/education/health that you could link to.

    Even if you didnt change current salaries but set the multiples as of today, there would be huge benefits over the next few years.

    • dv 14.1

      >> multiple of the average of (policeman, teacher, nurse).
      Interesting suggestion.

      Oddly enough some (many 40??) years ago a back bencher salary was very close to a teachers

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Don’t you know, the more we pay our ‘leadership classes’ the more good they do for society…things must be going brilliantly at the moment.

        • greywarshark 14.1.1.1

          Yeah so good to get rid of all those monkeys that were getting those peanuts. Now we have fully fledged apes and look at how good they are. It was so worth investing all that extra! We’ve never head it so good. /Sarc, of c(o)urse.

      • KJT 14.1.2

        I understand for a long time they were the same.

        Also the pay for the grey cardigans in charge of our power system and other top civil servants were similar.

        However did we manage without all those million dollar managers to take charge?

  15. Chch_chiquita 15

    This might be a stupid question (please forgive me – I’m not too familiar with all the formalities of NZ’s parliament) but why can’t such a law change come from any of the opposition parties? The Greens stated yesterday they are supporting it, so why aren’t they suggesting it? Then Key will have no choice but to stand behind his words.

    • mickysavage 15.1

      Not a silly question and the perfect opportunity for a private member’s bill.

    • lprent 15.2

      Because the government gets to present bills to the house for consideration. Parties in parliament do not (not even the ones in government).

      There is an exception. There are a certain number of bills per year that are allocated time as a “private members bills“. These are proposed by MPs from any party and drawn from a ballot. There are number of rules about them.

      A Green MP could propose such bill and if they are lucky enough to draw it from the ballot could proceed it through parliament. It could take a considerable amount of time as time for private members bills are often preempted by the government to press their own bills forward.

      • KJT 15.2.1

        If Key was really concerned about it, they could race it through as quickly as their asset sales and anti-worker legislation.

        As fast as they will ram through ratifying the TPPA.

  16. It does serve as a nice example of why the government’s arguments that inequality isn’t increasing are bullshit. According to the Higher Salaries Commission, MPs salaries have to rise by 5.4% this year to maintain relativity with other wealthy types. The rest of us certainly don’t need a 5.4% increase to maintain relativity with all the other under-paid schmoes. In fact, not only will we not be offered such a fat increase, we’d be labelled as “greedy” and “economic saboteurs” is we tried to get such an increase. After X years of that, inequality has inevitably increased.

  17. saveNZ 17

    Gosh John Key manages to send troops off to war with no vote, even banning healthy food in schools is important to him, but somehow it is just so so so difficult to actually change the law to stop these pay rises to himself and other MP’s.

  18. hoom 18

    Every time I have seen John Key recently I have had this overwhelming urge to swear. It usually manifests itself by the urge to repeat two words, the first starting with “f” and the second one being “liar”.

    Meh, I’ve had that urge constantly since he first came into the public eye as one of the main Hollow Men.

    Russell Norman was then interviewed. He proposed linking salary increases to any increase in the median wage. This suggestion has a great deal of attraction.

    This.

    Alternatively simply expand the mandate of the RA to all State sector including Beneficiaries, Homecare & some sort of theoretical industry standard rates for various jobs.

  19. TheBlackKitten 19

    Valid point but how long has the Remuneration Authority been giving our politicians pay increases that us mere workers can only dream about? How long have our politicians been receiving travel and retirement perks of what is for us of yesteryear. A lot longer than six years I would expect. Labour too sat back and reaped these benefits whilst in government and left the ECA Act virtually untouched that holds a lot of responsibility for our low wages.
    The issue is that politicians are still routing the system for the perks that the private sector lost about 30 years ago and it just not pay increases but all the perks like retirement and travel that go with it. Its about time that they practiced what they preached. We were all told years ago by our employers that company perks could no longer be afforded. Its about time that our politicians followed the same rules they insist we all follow.
    The other issue is that pay increases are given as a % so a % of $400.00 is a lot less in dollars than the % of dollars for 5,000.00 but quoting % numbers does not sound as bad as quoting dollar numbers. A way around this devious rort would be for pay increases to be given in ‘dollars’ value’ rather than %. This will then show the measly increases given to workers in the private sector for what they really are. And any increases in the public sector should be measured on a medium on what all private sector workers receive in increases.
    Watch them all then scramble to do a lot more about our low wage issue that has been left unattended for many a moon now.

    • KJT 19.1

      Easy to fix. Just fix politicians pay rises to the same dollar amount that the median per capita income goes up, or down.

      Same as we would see ordinary workers pay go up if executive pay was restricted to no more than, say, 10 times the lowest paid in the company.

      • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1

        I suggest an 89% income tax rate – covering and considering all income – with a threshold set at 10x the minimum national wage (= circa $300K pa.)

  20. Red delusion 21

    Helen had nine years to change the law and also rolled out the same trite at every pay rise At least key gives most of his salary to charity, the left are only interested in giving other people’s money away

    • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1

      Who’s a pretty boy then?

    • les 21.2

      how much of his salary does Key give to charity?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.2.1

        Zero. It goes to the National Party.

        • McFlock 21.2.1.1

          And I wouldn’t be surprised if his donations to the nats were less than the amount refunded to Donghua Liu

        • greywarshark 21.2.1.2

          @ Red delusion – you’re well named
          At least key gives most of his salary to charity, the left are only interested in giving other people’s money away
          Your statements are so breathtakingly partisan that you are almost a comic feature on this blog, up to a very high standard. Good enough for TS and a horse laugh.

    • BassGuy 21.3

      At least key gives most of his salary to charity,

      Which ones? How much?

      …the left are only interested in giving other people’s money away

      I thought that our taxes, from which the parliamentary salaries and their increases are drawn, were other people’s money. Doesn’t count as giving other people’s money away?

    • KJT 21.4

      30 million to Rio- Tinto,
      A billion to SCF, most of which went to National party associated inside traders.
      ???million in gambling licences and cheap land to Sky city. Then let them off their side of the contract.
      A billion, and rising, for leaky homes.
      Welfare payments to employees to subsidise employers whose businesses do not make enough to cover their full costs. (Not even good capitalism).
      High paid sineseres for ex National party hacks. Canterbury earthquake was a godsend for that).
      The profits from assets we used to own (paid for by taxpayers).
      Billions to tax dodgers such as banks and speculators.
      Subsidies to radio-works.
      The huge contingent liability they imposed on us when they fucked up carbon trading.

      etc etc etc.

      Giving away other peoples money??

      “What’s a few billion here and there, however, when we can just screw it back by lowering low paid workers wages, and taxing paper boys”.

  21. Chaz 22

    Good opportunity for the opposition parties to show some moral fibre by asserting they will donate their new found wealth to charity.

    Matter of fact one MP already has. Jo Goodhew the MP for rangitata has said she will. Not sure whether she is Labour or Green, but good for her.

    John Key is apparently already donating his (or so he says.).
    Let’s see some more hands go up.

    • McFlock 22.1

      He says that, does he? Links pls.

      I was a bit perplexed as to what your game was, but then of course it turns out you’re trying to coat-tail a nat lie onto something good an opposition mp is doing. Business as usual then.

      • Chaz 22.1.1

        Hi McFlock

        Here’s a link for you.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10413135

        It is terrifically hard to get historical information about MP pay rises but it does appear that during the period 1999-2008 MP pay rates rose enormously. In 2001 your bog-standard seat-filler got 85k. Seven years later they were on 131k, a 54% pay rise, but spread over seven years after all.

        The PM on the time is on record as saying that they do not comment on remuneration authority decisions. link below:
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3531601

        That was JK’s mistake – he should have just kept his mouth shut.

        Sorry about the troll in my previous post,. Could not resist it, seeing as how the only MPs on the record at the moment are National ones.

        Must make it hard for opposition MPs when the enemy are the only ones actually putting their money where their mouths are.

        • McFlock 22.1.1.1

          So? He “planned” to do whatever it takes, and look how that turned out… what does he claim now?

  22. Chaz 23

    It’s extraordinary the things yo turn up when you dig around a bit.

    In 2006 when Mp’s wages went up by a little over 4% this quote came from the post below: “the figure was more or less in line with what we’re achieving – 4.25 per cent this year.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10413135

    This year the minimum wage has gone up by 3.5% and MPs salaries have gone up by 3.3 (before adjustments for lost expenses)

    And the same person makes this comment:

    “We have a system which is clearly broken where low income workers get 50c an hour extra because that’s what the state says is good and then another branch of the state says MPs should get $9000 a year.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11408306

    Pretty much a 100% reversal of his 2006 comments.

    Of course in 2006 Andrew little was a union leader under a labour government, whereas these days he is not. So a 180 degree flip-flop is understandable I suppose.

    • mickysavage 23.1

      Catch up Chaz. The MPs salaries went up by 5.5%. The benefits they lost were not always utilised anyway. The dollar increase was obscene.

      • Chaz 23.1.1

        No Micky the increase was 3.3%, the rest of the increase was a contra for lost expenses, as you well know.

        But Micky – you haven’t answered the substantive question, how come it was perfectly OK with Andrew Little for this kind of thing to happen under a Labour PM? Especially when that PM routinely took the full increase, never claimed to be donating her salary or increases to charity and refused to comment on the whole matter.

        But now under a PM who is actually doing all that he is outraged? Quelle surprise.

        PS if you are speaking to Andrew can you point out to him that the figure $8,200 does not round up under any system of mathematics to $9,000 as he claims. Under the swedish round system in place in NZ it doesn’t event round up to $8,500, it rounds down to 8k.

        He’s not labour finance spokesperson i hope. Generally you’d want someone in that role who can do his numbers.

        You know in the last week or two the gaps in little’s leadership are really showing. First his debacle with demoting Sepuloni, and now this complete flip-flop.

        Well, not sure which came first really.

        Also – i’m still waiting to hear some opposition MPs say they will donate the increase. Only Nats so far.

        • Colonial Rawshark 23.1.1.1

          Frankly, Little is far more trustworthy than the PM who pretends he doesn’t remember the Springbok tour.

          Your sharpshooting of historical quotations is a pointless distraction and IMO shows how afraid you are of Little as Labour Leader. You fuckers love to distract and derail from the issues. The substantive point is that the top 1% in this society is being handed thousands of dollars more on a silver plate, while ordinary workers are lucky to get a measly $20 a week.

          Your focus on a few hundred dollars here and there (while the government wastes hundreds of millions of dollars) shows how eager you are to distract from the meat of the issue.

          Time to effect real concrete proposals for change. Index the minimum wage to 1.1x the increases that MPs get.

          And it’s high time to give workers some benefits for the expenses they incur in their day to day jobs. Work clothing, transport costs, etc.

          Labour’s only failure at the moment is to come out with gutsy alternative proposals based on simple principles that every Kiwi understands.

          No Micky the increase was 3.3%, the rest of the increase was a contra for lost expenses, as you well know.

          I think it’s probable that you’re making that up.

          • Chaz 23.1.1.1.1

            I wish I knew how to make those fancy quotes appear that you guys use.

            I didn’t make it up CR. I can’t find the official report online yet but here is what the remuneration authority stated.

            “In its determination, the authority said the payline for ordinary members increased by 3.3 per cent in 2014.

            However, tighter rules around MPs’ travel meant their annual entitlement fell to $3200, compared to around $6500 last year.

            “Taking into account the change in value of the travel entitlement, this produces a package increase of 3.56 percent and a salary increase for ordinary members of 5.5 per cent,” the determination said.

            http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11408306

            • Colonial Rawshark 23.1.1.1.1.1

              you’re still avoiding all the critical points. The top 1% get gifted thousands of dollars a year – and they get paid out for generous travel expenses that no ordinary worker on the minimum wage gets access to. The perks of the 1% eh. While workers on the minimum wage are lucky to get an extra $20/week.

              Further your attacks on Andrew Little’s historical statements are simply a distraction from the meat of the issues, and your criticism of him for saying $9000 instead of $8200 is utterly emblematic of that sharpshooting style of distraction.

              Little remains far more trustworthy than Key on all counts.

              • Chaz

                I wasn’t avoiding your other point, just commenting separately.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  You’ve not made a single comment about how the minimum wage worker is barely able to put together an extra $20/week while the 1% get gifted many thousands of dollars and hold their head up high while getting it.

                  The hypocrisy comes from a Government which complains about their own pay increases but will not change the system to take responsibility for them.

                  Index the minimum wage to 1.1x the increases MPs are getting, that’s the fairest call of all.

            • Pete George 23.1.1.1.1.2

              I wish I knew how to make those fancy quotes appear that you guys use.

              See http://thestandard.org.nz/faq/comment-formatting/#simple_html

          • Chaz 23.1.1.1.2

            “The substantive point is that the top 1% in this society is being handed thousands of dollars more on a silver plate, while ordinary workers are lucky to get a measly $20 a week.”

            But that is exactly the same situation that occurred in 2006 when Andrew little said it was just fine because percentage-wise it was in line with the general populace.

            “Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union national secretary Andrew Little said the figure was “more or less in line with what we’re achieving – 4.25 per cent this year.”

            If it is a terrible thing now then it had to have been a terrible thing then. But Andrew said it was fine, not me.

            • Colonial Rawshark 23.1.1.1.2.1

              He was wrong then and he is right now. It’s really fucking simple. His consistency is continuing to work hard to get ordinary people good pay increases. Get your head around it.

              • Chaz

                OK fair enough. looking forward to hearing him make that statement since until he does it just looks like there is one rule for labour and another for national.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Different rules apply for winners. Labour was performing for ordinary working people – ensuring jobs for almost everyone and good pay increases across the board for workers too.

                  • Chaz

                    Ah OK. Different rules.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Absolutely. A government which is failing to deliver to working people needs to be pushed much harder. I thought that would have been clear to you.

          • Chaz 23.1.1.1.3

            “Time to effect real concrete proposals for change. Index the minimum wage to 1.1x the increases that MPs get.”

            The minimum wage increased 3.5%. MP’s increased 3.3%

            The minimum wage has therefore increased at exactly 1.1x the MPs increase.

            your wish is granted,.

            • Colonial Rawshark 23.1.1.1.3.1

              I don’t want a one off, I want the system locked in. That should have been clear, stop distracting.

              • Chaz

                I support your call for that CR. Sounds like a good idea.
                Pass that on to Andrew and he might raise it.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Your support is worthless. Go away.

                  • Chaz

                    Well if you are only going to accept the support of left wingers for your plans CR then based on current polling you are not going to get far.

            • Lanthanide 23.1.1.1.3.2

              “exactly 1.1x” would be 3.63.

              lrn2math

              • Chaz

                Oops lucky I’m not the spokesperson for Finance. My numbers are as bad as Andrew’s

                • Lanthanide

                  Andrew never said “exactly $9,000”. You said “exactly 1.1x”.

                  lrn2english

                  • Chaz

                    Here’s the quote from Andrew

                    “We have a system which is clearly broken where low income workers get 50c an hour extra because that’s what the state says is good and then another branch of the state says MPs should get $9000 a year.”

                    Seems pretty clear the number he quotes is 9000.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I never said he didn’t say $9,000.

                      The problem is you used the word exactly, and you were wrong.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 23.1.1.2

          Simple, when you can run an economy so that the median wage increases faster than inflation, you deserve a pay-rise.

          Tory filth give generously to charity? So did John Gotti, and he created less misery than Tory filth.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.2

      Fuck that bullshit; it’s time we index the minimum wage to 1.1x the percentage increase that the MPs get.

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