'What makes them so bloody special?' - outrage at MPs' 5.5% pay hike

The hefty pay rise handed out to MPs hasn't gone down well with ONE News Facebook followers and minimum wage earners who've just got a rise of 50 cents an hour.

The hefty pay rise for Members of Parliament comes a day after the minimum wage went up by just 50 cents. Source: 1 NEWS

The Remuneration Authority, which sets MPs' salaries, says they deserve 5.5% more backdated to July. That means from April backbench MPs - the ones we don't really hear from - will get a rise of $8,200 to $156,000 a year.

"What an insult to us hard workers struggling to make ends meet and lucky to get any increase not the $8g they get and don't need," Janice Watt posted on the ONE News Facebook page.

"That is so not fair, what makes them so bloody special, they are all a bunch of time wasters," Janet Hurst complained.

And Irene Reynolds wrote: "Outrageous ... all they offered the minimum waged was a 50 cents an hour increase. NZ politicians are SAD!"

Fast food worker Ngapera Ranfurly is one of those on the minimum wage which went up yesterday by 50 cents to $14.75 an hour. "For us people who are working, 50 cents doesn't cut it," she told ONE News.

Prime Minister John Key, whose salary will rise by $23,800 to $452,300, says MPs shouldn't be getting a rise when inflation is so low and a lot of other people haven't had one.

"The Remuneration Authority actually needs to justify to New Zealanders why politicans deserve a pay increase because I don't think they deserve one," Mr Key says.

But Andrew Little, who gets a rise of $15,000 to $283,400 as opposition leader, says stopping the hikes for MPs is in Mr Key's hands. "The Prime Minister's been saying for five years that the pay should be frozen, but he does nothing about it when it's in his hands to do that."

The Government says it wants Parliament to consider reviewing the way the independent authority sets pay. But the authority's chairman is not backing down, saying the gap between Cabinet ministers and top executives was growing.

Not one of the MPs ONE News spoke to promised to hand their extra cash back..

Greens list MP Kevin Hague said: "Personally, I wont be handing it back. But I am already a significant donor to quite a number of charities."

Fast food worker Ngapera Ranfurly says she wishes she had something left over to give back.