Jacinda Ardern announces a pay freeze on MP salaries, after Remuneration Authority recommends 3 per cent hike

Source: 1News

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has this afternoon announced a pay freeze on all MP salaries until July next year.

Ms Ardern announced the news at her post-Cabinet press conference, revealing she'd taken the move after the Remuneration Authority, that sets MPs' pay rates, had recommended a three per cent pay rise for MPs.

"That is not acceptable to this Government," Ms Ardern said today.

"Today Cabinet agreed to freeze MP Pay till July 2019, and to reassess the funding formula used by the Authority to ensure it is fair and in keeping with this Government’s expectations and values."

"I have notified all party leaders of this decision."

She said it was "just not appropriate for MPs to be the subject of such an increase".

Ms Ardern said she sensed "complete understanding" by Opposition leader Simon Bridges and ACT leader David Seymour.  

The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway said the Government needed to take action before the Remuneration Authority initiated new pay rates.

"Because of the timing of the annual increase process set in the Act, we need to use an urgent legislative process, aiming for introduction in September," Mr Lees-Galloway said.

"This means we need to amend the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 to suspend new determinations by the Remuneration Authority and restore the 2017 Parliamentary Salaries and Allowances Determination until 30 June 2019."

As of July 1, 2017, the Prime Minister's yearly salary was $471,049, and the deputy Prime Minister would be paid $334,734.

MPs that were not chairs of select committees were paid $163,961.

For the full list of MP salaries, click here.