Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has slammed a $7000 pay rise for MPs as sickening, and is calling on MPs to follow him by donating their pay rises to the poor.
The Remuneration Authority has increased MPs' pay by 1.5 per cent, backdated to July 1.
That means backbench MPs will earn $141,800, while the prime minister moves up to $411,510.
Each MP receives $5000 to make up for losing an international travel perk, while their tax-free allowances, to pay for meals, gifts and other expenses, have been hiked from $15,300 to $16,100.
Mr Harawira says he feels sick to his stomach about the pay rise, which makes a mockery of MPs who are rejecting calls to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
"To accept this pay rise at a time when the poor of New Zealand are in financial strife as a result of the government's `take from the poor for the rich' policies is a real kick in the guts for those who are struggling," he said.
He will donate his pay increase to a volunteer organisation in his Te Tai Tokerau electorate and wants all MPs to make a similar gesture.
"Now there can be no excuse for MPs whose pay rise has been backdated six months continuing to turn their backs on the needy," he said.
Remuneration Authority chairman John Errington said the 1.5 per cent pay rise was less than inflation and wage increases across the country, The Dominion Post reported.
"In recent years, members' remuneration packages have not kept pace with increases in the cost of living, nor with general wage movements," he wrote in a memo.
The pay rise announcement comes a month after the State Services Commission reported nearly 1000 public service jobs were cut in the year to June 30.
source: newshub archive