Prime Minister pockets $8k pay rise
John Key's pay rise comes just in time for Christmas (photo: Victoria Evans/3 News)
By Laura McQuillan
Christmas has come early for MPs, who will receive a 1.9 percent pay rise.
The Remuneration Authority officially announced the pay rises for MPs and judges today which will be backdated to July 1.
Prime Minister John Key told 3 News on Tuesday that after years of trying to reject pay rises for MPs, he felt comfortable accepting one this year.
While 1.9 percent might not seem like much, it translates to thousands of dollars for each MP.
Mr Key gets a pay rise of nearly $8000, moving from $411,510 to $419,300, while Deputy Prime Minister Bill English moves from $291,800 to $297,400.
Cabinet ministers, the speaker and the opposition leader, Labour's David Shearer, get a $4,900 pay rise to $262,700, while ministers outside cabinet get a $4200 increase, up to $221,400.
Other party leaders will get a $3000 increase in their base salary, plus increased amounts for each MP they're in charge of.
There's even good news for backbenchers - they get a $2800 rise, moving up to $144,600.
Each MP is eligible for an extra $100 in allowances to a total of $16,200, while the prime minister and speaker get an extra $200 each, rising to $21,600 and $20,200 respectively.
The Remuneration Authority says it must take remuneration elsewhere into account, and be fair to MPs and taxpayers.
MPs' pay hasn't kept pace with cost of living increases or with general wage movements, partly due to the authority accepting parliament's request for no increase in 2009/10.
Since the 2009 fiscal year, general salaries and wages increased by 5.6 per cent and the Consumer Price Index rose 8 per cent, but MPs' salaries increased only 2.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, judges will get a 2.5 per cent increase.
Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias will have an $11,500 pay rise, moving up to $471,500, while Supreme Court judges and the Court of Appeal president get an extra $11,000, up to $442,500.
High Court judges get an extra $9500, earning $395,000 each, and District Court judges get $7500 more, earning $300,500.