The Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament Remuneration) Amendment Bill (No 2) was introduced to Parliament on 28 August by Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway.
The bill is an omnibus bill that implements the Government’s decision to amend the method and frequency requirements for reviews and determinations made by the Remuneration Authority to set the salaries of members of Parliament.
Part 1 amends the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 to restore the Remuneration Authority’s discretion when determining the salaries of MPs. The bill links the frequency of adjustments to the electoral cycle so that the Authority would conduct 1 review after each general election, and would set MPs’ pay for the entire term of Parliament on a year-by-year basis.
Clause 4 amends section 12 by repealing subsection (2C). That subsection was inserted in 2018 to freeze the remuneration of members of Parliament until 30 June 2019.
Clause 5 amends section 18 by repealing subsection (3). Repealing the subsection will have the effect that the criteria specified in section 18 must be applied by the Authority when determining the remuneration of members of Parliament.
Clause 6 amends section 18A by repealing subsection (5) which will have the effect that countervailing economic conditions must be taken into account by the Authority when determining the remuneration of members of Parliament.
Clause 7 repeals section 18B so that the Authority must determine the remuneration and allowances of members of Parliament using the criteria set out in the Act.
Clause 8 amends section 19, which sets out the frequency of adjustments, by providing that, for members of Parliament, the Authority must begin a review of salaries and allowances within 3 months after a general election and issue a determination to apply from the day after polling day and providing that the Authority’s determination must set out the salaries and allowances of members of Parliament in 4 tranches.
Clause 9 and the Schedule insert a new Part 3 into the schedule of transitional, savings, and related provisions.
Part 2 amends the Members of Parliament (Remuneration and Services) Act 2013 to restore the requirement for the Remuneration Authority to consider the value of the personal benefit of entitlements when setting MPs’ salaries.
The Schedule contains a transitional provision that requires the Remuneration Authority to issue a determination for salaries and allowances for the period 1 July 2019 to the polling date for the next general election.
The bill will come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.