Backbench MPs are about to earn $163,961 a year. The top of the pay scale for teachers is $78,000.
If we turn the pay clock back to 1979, Backbenchers and experienced teachers earned roughly the same amount ($18,000 a year) Now the basic MP’s salary is more than twice as much as what a senior teacher earns.
Auckland schools are desperate for teachers but, even as she was preparing to leave parliament, former Education Minister Hekia Parata was quoted last March as saying :
“Teachers, like other Aucklanders – police, nurses, bus drivers – are facing the same pressures. And I don’t think one group over another should get some kind of different funding” (Herald March 19,2017)
Apparently, however, it is OK for the particular group to which she once belonged (MPs) to get “some kind of different funding, ” …the ongoing perks of which she will enjoy for many years to come.
This is what neoliberal economics has done to us folks – lowered wages while allowing house and food prices to rise. And those who have championed this kind of unfair economic policy in parliament for the last 30 years have feathered their own nests in the process.
Did we vote for a fairer government this time?
Who would know?
We are in limbo.
Perhaps if pay cuts for MPs and more money for caregivers, teachers, nurses,mental health workers ( for example ) was on the negotiating table I’d feel more hopeful.
PS. By the way you can find links to my latest documentary WHO OWNS NEW ZEALAND NOW? and extended interviews here: https://www.facebook.com/NZHousing
Amongst other things,it looks at how houses became overpriced in terms of what we earn.