New Zealand lawmakers say no pay rise amid crisis

New Zealand lawmakers voted on Tuesday to freeze their pay for a year as the country faces its worst recession on record.

New Zealand lawmakers say no pay rise amid crisis
The 122 members of parliament voted unanimously for a motion proposed by the Green Party that the independent authority, which sets their pay, should not give them a pay rise.

The motion is a recommendation only and cannot bind the pay-setting body, which also sets the salaries of local government elected officials, judges and the Governor General, the representative of Queen Elizabeth.

Prime Minister John Key said it was important the authority recognised that well-paid New Zealanders, such as lawmakers, needed to show leadership at a time of economic constraint.

"This is a recession that will envelope all of New Zealand and it's important that they take that into consideration," he told the Parliament.

Key said he believed the Governor-General had also written to the authority requesting no pay rise.

New Zealand's economy has been in recession since the start of last year as the property market has cooled, and high fuel and food prices and high interest rates denting business and consumer confidence.

Key, a multi-millionaire former foreign exchange dealer, earns a base NZ$393,000 ($208,000) a year salary, while individual lawmakers get NZ$143,000, before allowances, compared with an average annual wage of around NZ$50,000.

Reuters
Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2009, 12:05
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