Public vent at MP pay push

Friday April 26, 2019 Written by Published in Politics
Public vent at MP pay push

Cook Islanders are having their say on a proposed pay increase for Members of Parliament and it will not be pretty reading for politicians.


The majority of people commenting on social media are scathing about the suggestion many comparing the MP base rate of $50,000 to the less than $16,000 a worker would earn a year for a 40-hour week.

And people raised the issue of how long Parliament sat each year, with the most recent session lasting three half-days.

One respondent said: “(They) should only be paid when Parliament sits, rest of the time get a real job!!!”

Another added: “Should only be paid when sitting in Parliament!! Otherwise get your own job outside!”

A third said: “With the first Parliament sitting only in April, I believe a decrease in pay - or termination of some allowances - would be better suited.”

“That is ridiculous ... their salaries should start at $20k and then bonuses and rewards if the Cook Island’s per capital income rises ... else forget about it ... but they won’t because they’re greedy politicians lining their own pockets,” another noted.

A question posed was: “Where are they getting the money from to pay themselves that much? Locals are on minimum wage and pay very low tax. Not enough to run a country let alone pay the wages of these politicians?”

“Getting a pay raise??? Doing what, the people can’t see anything happening ever by the government of Cook Islands. All they want to do … borrowing, borrowing and borrowing.”

One woman added: “Meanwhile probably 90 per cent of locals are still on $12,000 per annum and these guys wants pay rise! I’ll have your rate if you don’t want it, lol.  Gheeeezzz think about the people too! it was their vote that got you there! Aue tikae te tangi ia kotou.”

A clearly annoyed writer said: “Bugger the greed of the Cook Island government! If it’s OK for your constituents to earn minimum wage why not you as well? Since you’re a minor player in the international game why do we need so many expensive MPs that do nothing for the people or the nation.”

And … “You deserve a pay rise only if earned and deserved to be rewarded. Also wages should be chosen by the people - whether it be weekly or monthly - because it’s the people who put you in Parliament. Let the people decide.”

However, it wasn’t all bad for the country’s leaders.

Some correspondents seemed to back an increase for politicians.

“105k for the leader of a country isn’t very much. Where’s the problem?”

“Sure the people of CI may think it’s unfair the PM earns that much, but need to look at the whole picture i.e. the duties and responsibilities of a PM compared to an employee on the minimum wage.”

One reader had a unique view: “I think Action Man Maggie should get the pay rise and be the prime minister then. I think he’d do a better job.”

But most were not happy with the idea of more money for politicians.

“So sad … salary, vehicles, allowances, n more ...”

And: “I guess money don’t buy brains ae? Those guys are so ungrateful, put them on a review-base salary on all things they have positively completed for the betterment of our people.”

Leave a comment