Parliament legislated at great speed to change the tax laws but slowed down when MPs’ pay cuts were at issue

The Covid-19 emergency has been used by the government to justify legislative urgency and curtail Parliamentary scrutiny.

The aim was worthy – to introduce  a package of tax reforms. The process was shabby.

Urgency provisions were invoked to have the package legislated quicker you can say IRD.

Just as shamefully, the government moved smartly this week to scuttle a bill aimed at lopping the pay of all members of Parliament.  Finance Minister Grant Robertson denied Parliament the opportunity to consider this measure, promoted by Act leader David Seymour, by vetoing its introduction.

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash, in charge of the tax package, was unapologetic about the unseemly haste he intended should be taken.  He issued a statement to proclaim:

A significant package of tax reforms will be pushed through all stages in Parliament today to throw a cash flow lifeline to small businesses. Continue reading “Parliament legislated at great speed to change the tax laws but slowed down when MPs’ pay cuts were at issue”

The public might approve but political pay freeze won’t shrink inequality

Jacinda  Ardern’s  move to  freeze  the salaries of  MPs has  been hailed  as  “astute”.  She  says  it is  about  “values”:

We   are focussed on raising  the income  on  lower to  middle  income  earners… We  do not believe, given that  we are   at the  upper end of  the  scale, we should  be  receiving that sort of  increase.”

The independent Remuneration Authority  had ruled a  3% pay rise to apply this month backdated to  July 1,  but   Ardern  insists it is  “not appropriate”  for MPs to be subject  to such an  increase.

And the  country  brays an approving “hear, hear”. Continue reading “The public might approve but political pay freeze won’t shrink inequality”