MPs’ pay rise is a rort

Friday May 10, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Deputy PM Mark Brown. 19020440 Deputy PM Mark Brown. 19020440

Dear Editor,

Your article “Public vent at MP pay push” was validation of your publication’s Street Poll, where respondents all agreed our MPs are paid too much. The vast majority of our people locally and our Cookies abroad in Aotearoa, Australia and elsewhere would really disagree with deputy prime minister Mark Brown’s claim that our politicians are due more money because “the MPs have not had a pay rise for 14 years”. (“MPs deserve more pay, says Brown”, April 12).

 Brown’s statement came mere moments before his Cook Islands Party-led government adjourned Parliament “sine die”, preventing any further debate in the House.

As our leaders, their action was absolutely disgraceful! If they were employed in the private sector and paid purely on their work performance alone, our government MPs would have likely been deemed not worthy of a pay increase, at all. The claimed lack of a pay rise for 14 years is likely because of their many failures in government.

For example, the failure to prevent depopulation; the failure to develop, and to build and strengthen our economy through our primary industries of agriculture, fishing and the pearl industry – not just tourism; the failure to address the concerns of the anti-purse seine petition, signed by some 4000 people, costing us millions in lost revenue; the failure to address Te Mato Vai petition signed by many hundreds of people which government seems to have simply ignored; the failure to listen to TMV Rarotonga landowners ....

However, I do believe that the biggest failure of this minority coalition government is their allegedly disregard for a number of our country’s very own laws.

The article “Speed of MP pay debate ‘wrong’” had some very revealing information, confirming just how low they would stoop to retain power and government.

Democratic Party Opposition leader Tina Browne is quoted as saying the speed of the attempts to raise MPs’ pay is “completely unprincipled” and “unscrupulous”.

This government appears to have been intentionally and systematically rorting the system since attaining government more than eight years ago. They may find themselves in really big trouble – and they've only themselves to blame. Yes, it really does pay to listen to what your people have to say, and to heed our concerns and worries.

I suppose they will eventually really get what they deserve. So really, what goes around comes around.

Papa Williams


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