Saturday, September 12, 2009
MP's housing allowance more than minimum wage
A cynical view of the review of MPs' housing allowances. The cartoon is from the Manawatu Standard of September 8.
A press release from the Alliance Party on the same day begins:
Alliance Party co-leader Kay Murray says it is good news that MPs have decided to shave $1.5 million off their taxpayer-funded housing allowance.
But MPs will still be entitled to $37,500 a year on top of their $130,000-plus salaries and other allowances, to spend on their accommodation – regardless of whether they already own a home in Wellington.
The sum of $37,500 a year, or approximately $720 a week, apparently reflects the market rentals in Wellington.
Ms Murray says MPs should spare a thought for beneficiaries and those on the minimum wage or just above who live in Wellington.
"A 40-hour week at $12.50 per hour – the minimum wage – will earn a worker a gross income of only $26,000 a year, which is $11,500 less than MPs calculate they need simply for accommodation costs."