A "middle range" existence? How the Cunliffe's $550K annual income breaks down

David Farrar

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TV3 reported:

“Mr Key spent time in the money markets and has a personal fortune, which is many times our reasonably middle-range existence.”

A middle-range existence?

The Leader of the Opposition gets a salary of $268,500 a year and a superannuation subsidy of almost $30,000 so a remuneration package of around $300,000 a year.

David’s wife is a partner in an Auckland law firm. A 2012 survey found the mean earnings is $244,460. Karen Price is very highly regarded and I suspect would be earning well over the mean, but let’s go with the mean. The idea isn’t to speculate on her as an individual, but to test the claim of a “middle-range” existence.

The household income is probably around $550,000 per annum. Now there is nothing wrong with that. In fact I think  should be proud that he has had a very successful business career, and now parliamentary career. It is a good thing. You can talk about how you hope others can be as successful as you are.

But what is not a good idea is to try to downplay your wealth, in an attempt to paint others as even more wealthy, for political attacks. People know John Key is very wealthy. He has never ever hid that.

The median household income is $70,180. If your household income is around $550,000 a year that is not a “reasonably middle-range existence”.  That’s eight times the median income. Definitely part of the 1%, not the 99%.

Political commentator David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog.


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