David Seymour forges ahead with proposal to cut MPs pay in solidarity with Kiwis losing work during pandemic

Source: 1News

David Seymour is edging closer to formally proposing a 20 per cent pay cut for Members of Parliament during the coronavirus pandemic.

As people lose jobs, take pay cuts and have hours reduced, the ACT leader is calling on his fellow parliamentarians to stand in solidarity to reduce their pay as well.

Mr Seymour told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning he will put a bill up on April 28.

"In the interim, Parliament hasn't been sitting but I've got a bill drafted that would basically drop MPs pay by 20 per cent for the period of the Government's wage subsidy and maybe it can be extended after that.

"But I think it's critical when people are going down to four day weeks, some people are don't have a job, people at Fletchers going down to 50 then 30 per cent, other businesses besides, that the public sector do the same and the public sector can't realistically take wage restraint if the people in Parliament aren't doing it themselves."

But the bill may not be that easy for all MPs to get onboard.

"I've never been giving a speech in the House and seen my fellow MPs look up from their laptops and their phones the way they did when I said that," Mr Seymour said when he first raised the idea about a month ago.

"I've written to my fellow parliamentary leaders saying 'come on folks, we need to show some leadership and do the same thing here'."

Mr Seymour also said there would be a lot of other changes even after the coronavirus pandemic is over.

"This will accelerate a lot of change, I think it will be really hard for bosses up and down this country to say no to a day of working at home after this so you're gonna see social innovation, you're gonna see technical innovation.

"But I think what's important is that we remember the things that worked beforehand, so generally the Government needs to set the rules of the game and the private sector needs to get on with providing products that consumers can afford and want to buy, and creating jobs that people want to do for a wage they're prepared to do it for in that process."