Labour: poor performance warrants halving salaries

Bad and good reasons for a salary reconsideration.

A Labour MP thinks that poor performance warrants cutting salaries in half. NZ Herald reports:

“The events of the last week have shaken the farming sector’s confidence in Fonterra, and the chief executive must take responsibility,” Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor said in a statement.

“Theo Spierings should lead by example and voluntarily reduce his pay by half,” he said.

The events of the last seven years have shaken the political sector’s confidence in Labour.

Should O’Connor take responsibility and voluntarily reduce his pay by half? And Andrew Little and the rest of the Labour MPs?

Fonterra’s problems are largely due to global milk prices, which are affected by global demand for milk and global production of milk. Spierings is nowhere near fully responsible for milk throughout the world.

Labour MPs are a primary cause of Labour’s problems.

Another primary cause is a lack of party finances. Perhaps O’Connor will give half his salary to the party. Then he could ask his colleagues to follow his example.

UPDATE: Chris Trotter has already thought of something similar:

Well, here’s an idea (hat-tip to Danyl McLauchlan). Why not make it a rule that a MP cannot take home more than the average wage of, roughly, $55,000 per year. The balance of their income, $95,000, would go to the party. This would guarantee an annual income, from its current 32-strong caucus, of at least $3,040,000 per year, or, $9,120,000 over the three year parliamentary term.

UPDATE2: Matt Long comments on this at Kiwiblog:

Apart from world dairy prices falling Fonterra “forgot” to apply for access to the US market, alienated their shareholders, created a massive needless food scare and is seriously annoying staff with bureaucratic nonsense. We used to be very proud of the NZ Dairy Board, does anyone feel like that about Fonterra? Theo needs to step up or move on.

If that is at all accurate there’s valid reasons why Spierings’ salary and position could be questioned.

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13 Comments

  1. -D

     /  14th June 2015

    Kiwiblog takes a different cut on the same subject:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2015/06/trotters_forgets_tax.html

    Reply
  2. There a saying ‘If the wealthiest.. were not so greedy, the rest of us could be a bit better off’ (paraphrase). When I hear that some CEOs are earning $multi-million annual salaries, plus bonuses & other ‘incentives’.. I think exactly that.
    There is a minimum wage, perhaps there should be a ‘maximum wage’ cap ?
    I don’t think Labour would be calling for ALL salaries to be cut in half.

    Reply
    • What an utterly foolish suggestion and please do not ask me to explain why. Do so in your own time.

      Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  14th June 2015

      There is a much better saying: “You can have anything you want if you give enough other people what they want”. This one leads to actions that make everyone better off and happier. Yours leads only to making yourself bitter, miserable and poor.

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  14th June 2015

      How absurd. There are many people who start with nothing and end up very rich. Why should these people be punished because the ones who blame their own failures on everyone else are envious ? I know someone who came from an ordinary middle-class background and is now a billionaire. Why should he be penalised because other people didn’t have his sense and willingness to take risks ? How much do YOU give to the millions of people in the world who are living in dire poverty that makes our definition of it look like a joke ?

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  14th June 2015

        Companies don’t give huge salaries out of the goodness of their hearts. If anyone is given this sort of money, it’s because they’re earning vast amounts for the company. The idea that the enormous salaries are unearned is only held by the ignorant and envious.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  14th June 2015

          I meant, of course, that Zedd’s comments were absurd, not Alan’s or Salacious’s.. I know some really rich people-and the amount they give to charity is eye-watering.These people are generous givers,Think 6 figure donations and more. The idea that to be rich is to be greedy is based upon ignorance and sloppy thinking. There are some mean and greedy rich people, I’m sure, just as there are mean people of all classes. Having income caps would hardly be an incentive to work hard-look at Russia.Why bother if it will achieve nothing ?

          Reply
  3. David

     /  14th June 2015

    Spierings isn’t responsible for the global price of milk, however he is most certainly responsible for positioning Fonterra to be in the best position regarding the international market. If you turn the business into a bulk WMP producer and prices for WMP collapse, then that is something that he is responsible for.

    Reply
  4. John Schmidt

     /  14th June 2015

    Another aspect to O’Connors outburst is it also implies performance pay being the solution something that labour is against.

    Reply
    • Good point – maybe I should be careful, if Labour win the election they may think doubling their salaries is warranted.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  14th June 2015

        Thank goodness that this could never happen as MPs have no control over their salaries. I bet that the Labour MPs aren’t going to be giving half of theirs back on the grounds that Labour has been so ineffective in recent years.

        Reply

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