Government welcomes Higher Salaries Commission initiative for public imput into salary-setting

  • Sandra Lee
Local Government

The Acting Minister of Local Government, Hon Matt Robson, has welcomed the release today of a Higher Salaries Commission discussion document on a proposed new framework for setting the salary and allowances of local body politicians.

"The new system of salary and allowance setting promises to be fairer, and less arbitrary than the one it replaced, with clear opportunities for direct public participation," said Mr Robson.

The Local Government Act was amended last December to give the Commission the task of independently assessing and making remuneration determinations for elected city, district, regional and community board members.

Previously, the Minister of Local Government set maximum increases. Local authorities then decided whether their elected members would take the entire increase or only part of what was allowed.

Mr Robson said the Higher Salaries Commission was now calling for public submissions on its proposals by 31 May 2002.

“This is the first time that residents and ratepayers have been given the opportunity not only to consider and make comment on how local body salaries and allowances are set for elected members, but also to have a look at the proposed figures themselves, " Mr Robson said.

"I encourage community groups, and individual residents and ratepayers, to study what is proposed, and to put their views in writing to the Higher Salaries Commission. Direct public participation can only enhance the process".