Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Luxon pledges to donate pay rise to charity

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The annual salary of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon is set to rise by $50,000. File photo supplied

Prime Minister and Botany MP Christopher Luxon says he’ll donate his $50,000 pay increase to charity after the Remuneration Authority decided the amount MPs earn should rise by 2.8 per cent.

The increase will see a backbench MP’s salary go from $163,961 to $168,600 and it’ll be backdated to October last year.

It will go up another 2.9 per cent from July, followed by another rise of 2.4 per cent next year, and an additional two per cent increase in 2026.

Luxon, as Prime Minister, will see his salary increase from $471,000 to $484,200.

It will then grow again to $520,000 by 2026.

However, Luxon told reporters at Parliament yesterday, April 30, that he won’t take the pay increase and intends to donate it to charity instead.

The annual salary of the deputy prime minister will increase to $344,100.

Cabinet Ministers, such as Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, will see their salaries rise to $304,300 while Ministers outside Cabinet will earn $256,800 per year.

The increase in MPs’ salaries comes amidst large job losses in the public sector with Government agencies being told to cut costs.

Among those who say parliamentarians shouldn’t be getting pay rises is the Taxpayers’ Union, which has launched a petition against the move.

It’s already been signed by more than 22,000 people.

The organisation’s spokesperson, Jordan Williams, says: “While the average income of households is going backwards, MPs are locking in annual increases that don’t reflect the real world.

“The decision demonstrates the Wellington-based Remuneration Authority are out of touch with the rest of New Zealand.

“The base salary is highly misleading.

“Once the enormous Superannuation subsidy, tax-free allowances, taxpayer-funded meals and accommodation allowances are factored in, even the lowest-paid MP is already paid more than $200,000.

“The economy is going backwards. Household incomes continue to decline.

“The Government is adding $75 million a day to the national debt.

“Now is not the time to hike MPs’ pay.”

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