The papers are full of stories of Labour and Conservative MPs writing to the Senior Salaries Review Body urging that they are given a 65% pay rise, upping their salaries from £60k to £100k. Let's ignore the hysteria and ill informed knee jerk reactions and look at the facts.
There is no doubt that MPs pay has fallen behind that of comparable professions. MPs work extremely long hours, even when the newspapers would have you believe they are on holiday for six months of the year.
If you want to attract the best people into politics you need to pay the going rate - whatever that is. If the salary level is too low, MPs will be more prone to topping it up through outside interests.
Having said all that, those MPs who are demanding £100,000 have very faulty political antenna. They ought to realise that the public will just not wear such a rise. They already think that politicians live a featherbedded life and the vastly inflated allowances they receive go straight into their pockets. That is so obviously false, but in perception terms it doesn't matter.
The public ask, if it's such an appallingly low salary, why do so many people want to do it? Those who actually give it some thought, though, will also eventually ask, if the salary level is low, should we be surprised if, in the long term, politics again becomes the preserve of the rich? I can see a point where only the well off will be able to afford to do the job. This is already the case as many Tory A Listers stare financial hardship in the face as they prepare to fight a campaign lasting three or even four years.
I realise I have just written a piece which could have been headlined 'On the one hand...or on the other'.
My honest view is that MPs do indeed deserve a salary of somewhere between £75k and £100k, but it is politically impossible for it to happen.