A big BIG row is brewing over MPs’ pay. The ‘so called independent body’ Ipsa (who appointed/selected them? You can bet that MPs have got a finger in the pie somewhere!) are suggesting a rise from £66K (plus massive expenses!) to £74K (plus a few less but still massive expenses – a wage rise of over 10%). This is at a time of Osborne’s national austerity brought into force by those same MPs! Public sector workers’ money has been restricted by MPs for the past 3 years to zero for two years or now capped for 3 years at a below inflation 1%– this is despite the fact that those people ‘deserve’ more salary.
[you can’t trust remuneration type committees – just look at the ridiculous mind blowing salaries some of them come up with for chief executives and directors! They all scratch each other’s back].
The justification by ipsa (the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority – MPs so called watchdog) for the rise, is that MPs ‘deserve’ it! It simply can’t be done, until this immense austerity programme is finished (the public don’t buy it)! It is fair to say that this pay rise is part of a proposed package of measures, which also proposes to reduce the totally ‘unaffordable’ ‘final salary’ pension entitlement (though they still get a substantial ‘average earnings’ scheme), a statuary redundancy payment on leaving (rather than a colossal year’s salary golden goodbye), and no dinner allowance (£15 per night), as well as small tinkering with some other expenses. It is most definitely the wrong timing, and does even carry an additional cost to us all of half a million pounds each year. Party leaders claim NOT to be in favour of a rise (as they know it will be political suicide if they did! Some MPs will definitely take it and perhaps even PM David Cameron himself!).
The main problem is that MPs’ pay has been allowed to fall well behind over a number of years – as successive governments have refused to give the rises recommended (because it wasn’t the ‘right time’ politically!); during the Thatcher era they were given latitude in claiming expenses as a sop instead of an adequate rise – which led directly to the expenses scandal. That still doesn’t make it allowable to adjust things a bit now (well in two years time, after the election, to be exact – the poor old candidates will be discriminated against by the voters if they say they will accept a pay rise!). MPs will have to wait quite a bit longer unfortunately.
Our MPs are senior executives employed by the state – they represent their constituents, make the laws of the land, and run the country for god’s sake! Most of them are dedicated to the task, though some are not and are taking the Mickey. But for the majority who are hard working, we don’t reward them in the correct way. If you compare their pay with the salary of other top people in industry or other public employees (£80K or £150K, or even more), our MPs earn a pittance.
What really needs to be done is to change things completely!
Perhaps phase it – it could actually start at the next election when ‘NEW MPs could be treated differently and according to new rules. Then re-elected ‘EXISTING’ MPs carry on as before (and are seen to don’t get a rise) and stage them in during the next parliament.
The new rules should be that MPs are paid a suitable salary of say £125K (or more as determined by that being paid outside parliament), and they don’t then get the other perks.
No more Expenses – just like any other individual, from any part of the Country, who wants to take a well paid job in London doesn’t get such expenses (they might get removal expenses if they decide to move).
MPs ought to cover their own costs, be it flats, houses, offices, or any personal staff wanted (often their close family); we perhaps could build a special block of flats for them to rent. They can hire a room once a month in their constituency centre to hold a surgery at their own expense; the Commons can have a pool of typists & secretaries to help them, so then MPs can use their room at parliament for phone calls and correspondence. No more subsidised Commons catering, no more travel expenses.
Like the rest of society they need to attend their place of work daily (for a full 8hrs) – the Commons. They need to attend and contribute to debates (the number decided-on by the Speaker). If they need ‘leave of absence’ for other parliamentary work they need someone’s permission (like the rest of the working community) – again the Speaker could be the authority there.
No more second jobs outside parliament (whether declared or otherwise). No more cosy dinners and entertainment from lobbyists (unless authorised by the Speaker as being parliamentary business).
If you agree that major changes, like suggested above, are desirable rather than the proposed new package, then let your views be known to your own MP and Ipsa during the ‘consultation’ period (till late October 2013).