Stephen Franks has an innovative suggestion on incentive pay for MPs:
. . . When the Remuneration Authority was asking MPs about reform of the system 10 years ago, I urged that parties be given a material amount they could distribute among their members according to their pre-Parliament incomes, to do three things:
- reduce the income cut involved in going to Parliament for people for whom there is much more to lose, and
- reduce the overpayment of the kind or people who would never be thought useful enough outside Parliament to get anywhere near their Parliamentary income, so they don’t cling quite so desperately to their places; and
- have the supplement reduce each year after entry to Parliament, to encourage turnover of people who have not progressed. . .
It would be very interesting to know how many MPs take a pay cut when they enter parliament and how many get an increase.
I can see why Franks’ suggestion could appeal but wages and salary are best based on what people are being paid to do rather than what they did in a previous position.
An MP like mine, Waitaki’s Jacqui Dean, has to service an electorate of 34,888 square kilometres which places far more demands on her than those with smaller electorates or in parliament through a party list.
However, while paying on performance would have appeal, how to judge that would be debatable.
Although this Twitter exchange, brought to my attention by Kiwiblog, provides evidence some MPs are paid far more than they could possibly gain outside parliament:
Asenati Lole Taylor could be a Minister in a Labour, Green, NZ First, Internet Mana Party government.
If this exchange is a fair reflection on her competence and she was paid on performance she’d owe us.