Casting stones from glass houses

If I turned 65 tomorrow on a similar income to my present one I wouldn’t need superannuation.

But would I turn it down? No.

I wouldn’t say I was entitled to it but I would say I was eligible for it and I’d take it.

Would you?

Unless you’re very different from most of us I suspect you would.

We don’t make the rules but most would play the game if they could and not just with superannuation.

How many people who get Working for Families really need it?

It depends on how you define need. I don’t think anyone who can already afford luxuries needs a benefit.

I can understand why those who qualify for it don’t turn it down. Many will be the people who’ve always been too rich to be poor and too poor to be rich – having too much to qualify for any other assistance but not having enough to be really well off.

Most will set aside any qualms they might have about taking taxpayers’ money they don’t really need, arguing they’ve worked hard and paid a lot of tax and now they’re getting something back.

I wonder how many people who criticise MPs’ pay and allowances could put their hands on their hearts and say they’ve never taken anything they’re eligible for whether or not they need it?

Anyone who can’t is casting stones from a glass house.

There are differences between benefits and the salaries and allowances MPs get, of course.

MPs’ salaries are paid for the job they do and most more than earn it. The allowances are for work related expenses.

However, they make the rules which leads to the perception – probably unfair – that the rules are more than generous.

Their pay is set by an independent body, maybe allowances should be too.

That way MPs would get fair recompense for out of pocket expenses and free them from any suspicion of making rules which give them more than they need.

It would also give them some protection from the stone throwers.

6 Responses to Casting stones from glass houses

  1. JC says:

    Two points ensure that MPs and the pay and conditions will always be contentious..

    First, they receive more than double the income of the average punter, and allowances take them up to four times the pay and perks of the average punter. This is on top of the same perks provided by the State to the average punter.

    Second, no MP is there on their own merits but a) because a party machine selected them to be there and paid for their campaigns.. else the House would be full of independents, b) because they wanted to be there.

    The crucial factors that allow an MP to be elected and stay elected are only peripherally about ability and much more about location, the right demographic, loyalty to the Party and so on.
    Once in Parliament there is a natural selection process that sorts them into duffers, fodder, crooks and people of ability and character.. but regardless, the vast majority of them on on the same salary and perks regardless of their character and abilities.

    Its an appalling way to select and reward MPs and is rescued only by the fact that its the best of bad systems. Also, the only way to keep such a lousy system in check is through envy, partisan likes and dislikes, hatred, selective memory and ignorance.



  2. adamsmith1922 says:

    I do not have a problem with appropriate allowances for MPs.
    My posts on the subject have been related to issues related to the apparent insularity of certain MPs on this issue.

    In the case of Bill English he has generated a seriously negative perception which has I consider tainted his credibility.

    This has been exacerbated by the media and I would suspect Bill’s political enemies. However, he has not helped his position either.


  3. andrei says:

    Your analogy is incorrect.

    For example everyone is entitled to Government super.

    There is also a living alone allowance for super annuitants who live by themselves.

    So imagine a wealthy married couple receiving Super who use different addresses to claim this in addition to their other entitlements – this I put it to you is the equivalent to what some polies have been doing


  4. Sally says:

    Transparency is essential to prevent corruption. There was no transparency from this government until the heat was put on.

    I feel you are being rather mischievous with your lame defense of the politicians’ scams. Calling citizens “Stone throwers” was a helpless call.

    The reality is those earning a reasonable income are compelled to pay exorbitant taxes set by what are meant to be the servants of the people but have become our masters.

    These ‘masters’ think they know best, by enforcing laws that have resulted in a redistribution of wealth through the income tax system.

    A solution is to reduce the number of MP’s to 40, pay a higher salary, get rid of all the perks while an MP and put a stop to the disgraceful perks received after their time as an MP has finished.

    And for PM Key to stand by his promise and reduce tax rates.


  5. homepaddock says:

    Everyone 65 and over is entitled to – or at least eligible for – superannuation and MPs are eligible for allowances to cover work related expenses.

    The problem isn’t so much with individual MPs, it’s with the rules and the fact that MPs make the rules which leaves them open to accusations of taking too much.


  6. pdm says:

    `If I turned 65 tomorrow on a similar income as I am on now I would not need Superannuation.’

    Ten years or so ago I had two batchelor farmer (brothers) clients who when they turned 65 declined to apply for National Super. They were of the view they didn’t need it and it took me 3 or 4 years to convince them that they should do so.


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