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.
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.