Thursday, January 28, 2010

It's the Politicians Who are Overpaid

Phil Goff (remember him - he's the leader of the NZ Labour Party) wants to restrict senior public servants' salaries to the same level as the Prime Minister. Why for pity's sake? What's so special about the PM's salary and why should he be the highest paid public servant?

Actually, I think it's the politicians who are overpaid. I like the old system that prevailed until Victorian times in England where MPs didn't get paid at all. This meant that only people of means would stand for Parliament - and that usually meant people who had been successful at some other vocation before entering politics. The problem with our current crop of politicians it that many of them, especially in the previous Labour-Greens Government, have never had to earn a living doing something productive in their whole lives. That means they have no idea how most people go about earning their living or how wealth is created. They think that money grows on trees and that they have a God-given right to spend it profligately on whatever they see fit.

Political involvement should be truly a public service and if it was I think we would have a much better experienced and qualified group of MPs in Parliament. Paying them zilch, or at least a very small stipend, would rid us of the politicians who are only there because it pays more than the dole.

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