Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guess We Picked the Wrong Week to Increase MPs' Pay

There's never a good time to increase MPs' pay, but in the current circumstances it would seem like a self induced wound to vote yourself a 16 per cent pay hike. But that is what is on offer to MPs on 3 July. They will vote on whether their pay should go up from £61,820 to more than £72,000.

I've said before that I believe MPs are underpaid for the job they do, but to vote yourself such a payrise when many of your constituents are finding life very tough indeed would be a further reinforcement of the negative view the public have of politicians. Both Gordon Brown and David Cameron have made clear that they oppose the suggested rise and foregone their own pay rises. Whether their colleagues will show similar restraint is open to question.

There's an opportunity here for the political party which comes up with a solution to MPs' pay and fights a general election with it included as a manifesto promise. Whatever the details of that solution it must include to pledge that MPs should never again debate or vote on their own pay.

73 comments:

Splashitallover said...

Brown and Cameron should make clear that they would sack any MP who votes for a pay rise, and call for their deselection. Or would that take too much courage?

Enoch Powell had the right idea, refusing a pay rise in the middle of a Parliament. They all knew the rate for the job when they stood for Parliament, they can't move the goalposts and vote themselves rises now.

Anonymous said...

Here's my suggestion: set an initial level at the median of GP's pay (not practice partnerships) and then raise it in line with the same price index used to change state pensions. And then clamp down very strongly on expenses and take control of that away from parliament as well.

Anonymous said...

O/T (apologies).

Iain,

Please for God's sake get over to DD's website and give them some help, the place is a disaster area:

It's up and down like a yo-yo.

The comment submitting form doesn't work.

There are no details on eligibility to donate, the rules need to be clear.

Worst of all you cannot comment. This must be something that will help him, after all there's supposed to be a debate!

Take a honeymoon and go and help him or send a knowledgeable lackey :-)

Chris Clark said...

Of course MPs are underpaid for the work they do. As are teachers and nurses. Teachers and nurses (and MPs) do a job that they actually want to do and derive a sense of worth and purpose from their employment. I do roughly the same amount of work as a teacher but because I am not in vocational employment, but rather do whatever dross it is my employers want me to do on a given day, I get paid more. Which is fair. This is a very simple principle.

How about each constintuency paying for its own MP out of council taxes with all candidates declaring how much they would ask to be paid? Sounds fair to me.

Anonymous said...

It is the expenses. Second home mortgages and running costs have got to stop. The Blairs and the Balls are obvious examples, their pay is chicken feed compared to their mortgage scams.

Surely the original intent was that an MP was a local person representing his or her area. If someone decides to stand in an area where he or she does not live, then that is their problem, not the taxpayer. By all means pay moving expenses, but Nothing more.

Then we have the issue of London homes, which they are allowed to keep when they leave office, this again dwarfs their salaries. Either provide them with state owned accomodation for the term of their office or provide them with rented accomodation of an appropriate standard, paid directly by Westminster from which they will derive NO profit. In essence they just need a London crash pad.

Their staff should be directly hired and employed by Westminster, at the correct rates for the job. This would not rule out a spouse or family member if appropriately qualified.

Carry on down this line and MPs should hardly need to claim an expense at all and would have no need to run their lives as a business. They would become like the rest of us employed people and go to work for a fair (increased) salary with expense claims strictly regulated.

There are also too many MPs.

john miller said...

Err, check out the front page of the BBC website. the bit with the photo of lil' Al and the byline "Darling calls for pay restraint".

Anonymous said...

Splashitallover @ 8:36 AM

... Enoch Powell had the right idea, refusing a pay rise in the middle of a Parliament. They all knew the rate for the job when they stood for Parliament, they can't move the goalposts and vote themselves rises now.


Good idea. Indeed someone on another blog suggetsed that the Bank of England MPC should also get their pay set at the beginning of their term on the committee and never a pay rise after that - which would give them an incentive to keep inflation down to stop their own pay being eroded.

In the same vein, MPs now seem to be saying we need a pay rise to offset inflation. Well get with the message all you MPs - inflation eroding real standards of living with the very large risk of losing your job permanently is the world that you are going to have to get used to because most of the rest of us have been living with it for the last 10 years while you have been living it up in a safe job in the House of Commons.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8.51

Talk about having a high opinion! What the hell has GP's pay got to do with MP's pay other than the fact doctors had a very tasty rise a couple of years ago. It suddenly seems that GP's are now the people to which MP's compare. It used to be senior Civil Servants but, of course, they're only getting 2% this year.

Most MP's are, in general, completely useless only good for providing bull****. Oh, and lies.GP's have to do 7 years at medical school and have continuous professional develment throughout their working lives.

Anyone who licks backsides enough will get their snout in the expenses trough through a seat in Parliament and, if you lick a bit harder (there are other analogies!) you may even make it to the Cabinet.

Most, if not all, of the Cabinet simply are NOT up to any job, let alone that of a GP>

Anonymous said...

Chris clark , are you smoking something. Afraid you are deluded if you think these people select these jobs for altruistic purposes, apart maybe from a very small minority. They are in it for the salary , holidays , aggrandisement , etc. Give us a break , we get constant proof that all of the people you mentioned have little regard for the people affected by their employment, and the few initial idealists are soon corrupted.

archroy said...

Iain, when are we going to get the ten top political traitors? I notice the heading has disappeared.

(I like your verification code, didn't Zzscko score for Poland?)

lola said...

I actually think that MP's should set their own pay as 'parliament is sovereign'. Trouble is we have a load of self serving shits as MP's who really have no clue about 'duty' and 'service'. This culture grew up with Bliarism - the politics of celebrity. Best thing Dave could do would be to bring back this sense of responsibility and duty and try as far as possible to make parliament boring.

Anonymous said...

What we need is a non-political figure whom the MPs can neither coerce nor influence into voting them unwarranted pay rises.

Why not let Her Majesty decide on the pay of her people's representatives?

Anonymous said...

As Parliment is soveriegn it seems strange to suggest that someone should be set over MP's to decide their own pay- MP's are elected to make decisions and if they believe they are worth more then they should have the courage of their convictions and stand up and say so, if they're wrong then they suffer the consequnce of being voted out.

As a voter, I think that they are overpaid- there is certainly no shortage of people who want to get onto the gravy train/ into the commons, and the increases in pay over the last 20 years have done little to improve the quality of our elected representatives.

The annual spectacle of dozens of parasites voting themselves a larger salary is indicative of how out of touch the political classes are, but at least it gives the voters the opportunity to see the greedy buggers for what they really are- self serving party Apparatchiks with the strong desire to line their own pockets.

dehautenbas said...

Pay decent MPs a touch more, by all means - provided we reduce their number by at least 60% to recognise their dereliction of duty in handing so many of their responsibilities over to the EUssr.

Unsworth said...

"There's an opportunity here for the political party which comes up with a solution to MPs' pay and fights a general election with it included as a manifesto promise"

I'm at a loss to understand why it needs a 'solution' at all. If MPs feel they (and apparently, their families and cronies) are undervalued let them put up a coherent case for more cash. Let them also abide by the spirit of the law, rather than plunging headlong into the pigswill trough of allowances, expenses, substantial pensions etc. What I want to know is how all these hangers-on get appointed. And how does the grotesque quango game work?

Frankly my MP seems to be living the high life whilst protesting that he's worked to the bone. At best he'd make a pretty average middle grade manager in any other walk of life.

And let's not forget that the choice of 'career' has been entirely their own. The trouble with these people is that once they get their hands on the levers of power they get superglued to them.

I don't mind paying a little bit more for my MP with one proviso, and that is that if he's no good at his job I can fire him with immediate effect. Taking away their 'job security' would be a start.

Anonymous said...

Talking of snouts in the trough, the attempt by the French and Germans to undermine the importance of the Irish vote for their own grandstanding motives demonstrates the uselessness of the EU Parliament as a forum of democratic debate.

Things to do instead of... said...

And after last nights resolution of the tankers strike, didn't a minister come out this morning and say he was now worried about how it would effect inflation and how workers needed to hold off from large pay settlements, and they then reward themselves 16% higher than the one asked for by the tanker drivers who put their lives in danger everyday.

mitch said...

M.P.'s are overpaid for what they do, which is not a lot basically (running round looking busy doesn't count). There are too many of them and no shortage of willing candidates.

Robert said...

Give MP's a 16% increase and we will be into another Winter of dicontent. Watch the public service unions queue up for the same increases. Already they are starting to renegociate existing 3 year deals on the back of increasing inflation.

Mp's? Sack them all. What have we got Europe making all the laws for if we still have MP's?

My local councillor has more power than my MP.

Anonymous said...

Tie MPs pay to GPs pay

Then they might stop bashing us.

Anonymous said...

Iain

I also tried and failed to post a comment of support on DD web-site blog. Hope you will post this message whilst DD gets things working, pronto!

Intended Message:

Dear David,

I fully approve of your stand. I hope you will expose the EU aspect of these authoritarian moves. My late father would be so annoyed to know that what he and his comrades fought for in the Second World War 'standing alone' is being frittered away.

Council House Tory said...

there's plenty of people round my way that earn less the 20k BEFORE tax, yet MPs want an 11K pay rise. this will go down badly if the media push it.

Blue Eyes said...

Sorry which job?

Iain what do you think the role of an MP is and what do you think the role of an MP should be?

bergen said...

Years ago there was a proposal to link MP's pay to a specific Civil Service grade.I think it came close to adoption and I don't know why the idea was not followed.Anyone know?

Chade said...

The solution to MP's pay is simple. Link it to the minimum wage. MPs want to vote themselves a twenty percent pay rise? No problem, as long as the minimum wage goes up by twenty percent as well.

BTW I agree with 9:01; DD needs help with his website. I second the points he made, especially the donation rules. Details need to be included with cheques such as a full address for checks to be made against the electoral roll.

Plus, yesterday when you tried to subscribe to DD's newsletter the auto-response you needed to click on to confirm had two broken links from sloppy formatting. The admin email ran into the next line, as did the conformation link itself.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Run the party like a company. Regardless of what the Labour hogs vote into their trough, the Tories should require MPs to accept a standard salary and to stay in a hotel as required. All expenses to be backed by receipts, all EA/PA/AA jobs to be advertised and filled according to publicly-stated selection criteria.

In other words - grow up and live like everyone has to.

There is no reason why the party cannot act unilaterally on this.

machiavelli said...

That's not strictly true, Iain. Cameron and Brown have said they will not take their opposition leader and PM pay rise - not that they won't take the MP's pay rise.

It'd be lovely, wouldn't it, if they paid properly the MP's staff who do all the work? Since most of them just swan around preening and cashing in with directorships.

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

Incidentally, have you noticed the utterly delusional Labour activists' survey on Labourhome? If you look at how they rated the performance of the Cabinet in May, every single member did better than the previous month! Every single one of them! They think they just had a great month!

Are these people utterly bloody mad? In the period between the two surveys, they:-

- lost the local elections
- lost the Mayoral election
- lost C & N
- lost a shitload more data humiliatingly capitulated on the 10p tax thing
- humiliatingly started to make climbdown noises over VED
- were warned they might go bankrupt
- couldn't find a general secretary
- plunged to Michael Foot levels of support on the polls, and
- cut a squalid deal with the DUP.

In the deranged mind of Labour activists, that was a BETTER month!!! Not one Cabinet member did anything bad, wrong or ineffective that contributed to the utter shambles that was the government in May.

In fact, Jacqui Smith is the most improved performer despite her utterly abject performance on 42 days.

Now, I admit I troll that poll, voting for every stupid left-wing measure possible and rating them all absolutely stratospherically high. But I'm only one of 400 respondents, so the 10/10 I gave Jacqui is only 0.025 of her score, which improved by 10 times that much.

These people are just utterly, utterly mad! Jonathan bloody Swift couldn't have made this up. They collapsed into the abyss in May, they're looking at four terms in opposition but they reckon their top people all batted strongly in May.

I am seriously starting to wonder what these loons would consider to have been a bad month.

The parallels with the Fuehrerbunker are becoming uncanny, but it's early in the thread for Godwin's Law to kick in so I'll leave it there...

Newmania said...

If MP`s pay was linked to cutting the cost or running the state we would have a lot better government and if it made them millions I wouldn't mind
As it is we have a pantomime. Tony greedy idjit Bliar had a mortgage at 20 times his salary in the end and Brown's supposed calls for restraint is as much a fraud.

Another way to approach it is that tax and spend socialists should have to make the same sacrifices as the middling people they from whom they confiscate money for "social justice". As they are arguing for a high moral authority and not allowing that anyone has earned the money, then they should not earn above the citizen most afflicted with marginal taxation.. A subtler understanding of responsibility would quickly take hold.

Personally I find this, mediaeval iconography a poor substitute for the Parliament of representatives we once had though. Really who cares.

Auntie Flo' said...

MPs underpaid?

You're having a laugh, Iain.

How dare the greedy wretches increase their pay as recession is beginning to grip the country!

Those who vote for this rise should be named and shamed - and voted out at the next election.

Newmania said...

Iain,

Please for God's sake get over to DD's website and give them some help, the place is a disaster area


As the only possible interpretation of this silly excercise is an attack on David Cameron I would prefer Iain did not.
If anyone can explain to me one teeny bit of logic aside from selfish self agrandisement then I would be amazed . Iain is a friend and the public like to bash politicians but for ordinary Conservatives he is sad menapausal pain in the arse.

I should have guessed from the weekend warrior clue . No-one who is not a complete overgown child goes around playing at soldiers.


What a farce, what a silly old man and what a waste of everyone`s time.

Helen said...

MPs are not underpaid for what they do, they are overpaid. They are supposed to be legislators. Between seventy and eighty per cent of the legislation comes from the EU. Even if it hits Parliament - only in the minority of cases - they cannot reject it. Neither do they take any interest in how that legislation originates over in Brussels. They have done their best to push through the Lisbon Treaty, which will hand over more powers to the EU. What would happen in a private company that lost eighty per cent of its business? Salary hikes? I think not.

Noelinho said...

How about we change the law to put MPs pay to a referendum of the people?

overpaid and underqualified said...

Quote

I've said before that I believe MPs are underpaid for the job they do

The ability to lie and spin is the only qualification MPs possess and it's hard to put any value on this.

The total mismanagement of the economy shows we can no longer entrust the Government of the country to non-professionals.

Increasing their pay will only make them increasingly out of touch and out of their depth.

It's time that MPs, like Estate Agents, are finally regulated and required to pass exams - particularly in financial propriety.

Tom Maxwell said...

While ever MPs just blindly follow the party line why on earth should they be well paid?

I don't mind paying people to use their brains but this bunch of sheep have mismanaged to country for far too long.

We should put them on 30k basic and pay for results.

Bill Quango MP said...

I believe that Mp's should not be allowed to vote on their pay.

Instead that pay should be linked to the pay of important media people,
like Kaplinsky, Johnathen Ross or Murdoch.
Also, we are top rated business people like Branson.
Any of these sorts of salaries would be acceptable to me and the vast majority of my colleagues.

dozzy said...

MPs are already getting £10,000 more than university professors (professors, not lecturers: the people at the very top of the academic profession) -- yet are they better educated? Do they have more qualifications? Are they more skilled? Have they trained for longer? Do they work harder? Do they have more responsibility?

Obviously, the answer is no. MPs vote in parliament the way the whips tell them to. Once in a blue moon they will say something in a near-empty chamber, or ask a minister a question. The rest of the time they do low-grade social work, write letters (though they have researchers and secretaries to do this for them) and give the odd interview to their local newspaper about potholes or speed limits outside schools or some such. Then of course there is the recess, when they can basically do what they like. The duties do not fill the time available, which is why so many manage to do other jobs on the side.

Why not pay them the same as a senior social worker? Google suggests this is about £30,000. And no allowances. They can type their own letters, as other people do these days. For some, this will mean having to learn how to use a computer. If they don't like the pay and conditions, they can always choose another career. There is after all no shortage of people wanting to be MPs.

Charlie Root said...

I agree with Anon 10:03 AM

As the Queen is sovereign over Parliament I think she (or some appointed committee) should decide on MP's pay rises.

You simply cannot allow people to vote for their own pay, the country would be on it's backside in a matter of minutes if we were all able to do that.

Scary Biscuits said...

Iain, I totally disagree with you that MPs should hive of responsibility for their excessive payrises to some independent body (even if one could be found that was genuinely independent).

They should be able to justify their pay just like the other decisions they take that effect our lives. That is the essence of democracy.

If they don't want this responsbility then they should be paid less not more.It is very bad that they increasinly want to hide from voters behind a variety of quangoes and the EU.

verity said...

First, as someone else said, reduce the number of MPs. We are way over-represented in this country compared to the greatest democracy in the history of the world, the United States.

Second, freeze their pay for five years. They have little to do except lick the tip of their pencils and carefully copy the new laws Brussels sends them on a daily basis, into our body of law.

In addition, they're not worth a raise even if there was actually any work left to do in Parliament. They did not guard our liberties and ancient rights from the wrecking ball Blair and Brown heaved into our debating chamber.

And frankly, there should not only be a five-year moratorium on raises, but we should think very carefully at the end of five years whether we wish to extend the period of the moratorium.

And those second homes should be axed. There should be a comfortable hotel-like building for MPs to stay in free when they are away from their constituencies.

Most of the population now regards MPs with contempt and loathing.

verity said...

Also, what Helen said.

And Charlie Root.

MPs don't seem to be very popular - or even mildly respected - around here.

And while I'm on the line, Derek Conway and his family of slithering leeches should have to pay back every penny of the £2m plus they finagled out of the people who pay taxes.

Anonymous said...

Newmania said...
"What a farce, what a silly old man and what a waste of everyone`s time."

It is just a publicity stunt from David Davis; resigning and standing for re-election in a seat where he had a comfortable majority and he had already done a deal with the runners-up from previous elections.

I would have been impressed if he had given up his seat to lead a campaign against the 42-day issue outside Parliament. However, that would have taken real courage.

alberich said...

Tour de force by BTB 11.16.

Broon is due to receive a pension of say £120K (the precise amount is incidental), which with a multiplier of 20 gives a notional fund value of £2.4 million. This exceeds by £750K the lifetime allowance for privately funded pensions, above which cash withdrawals or purchased annuities are charged to tax at an effective rate of 55%.

Yet another triumph for this one-eyed kleptomaniac and control-freak whose laws apply to anyone but him.

Ten years of uninterrupted grooth. Fourteen stone of prime Scottish beef on the hoof. Extracts enough urine to fill 5,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Piss off, Gordo, you waste of space.

Dunploddin said...

MPs underpaid? You jest! Dozzy at 1.07 hits the nail on the head. During my professional life I met a lot and liaised with more than a few; with one or two notable exceptions most would have trouble holding down a job as a shift supervisor at a well known burget-flipping establishment.

Penfold said...

Well at least it won't affect the inflation statistics.....if they are to be believed.
But really, 16%, when the country is reeling from inflationary prices, with oil prices escalating to $200pb, with Armed Forces pay and conditions in the headlights, Police pay increase not backdated, a tightening of public sector pay rises limited to meaningless per-centiles, increases in mortgages, a failing NHS, NHS Dentistry a joke......the list just goes on and on and they want to vote themselves a payrise.

It has the distinct odour of a fish market and its' associations.

I wouldn't the money if only this wretched government would let us have a referendum of the Lisbon Constitreaty. ARE YOU LISTENING GORDON?.

If ever there was a better cause in this country for an re-enactment of the French or Russian revolution then we are reaching that tipping point.

Anonymous said...

verity said...
"In addition, they're not worth a raise"

In Britain we say "rise".

Alfie said...

Underpaid? Probably.
Over indulged? Definitely.
Under performing? Without a doubt.
Over populated? Most certainly.

Too many mediocre, thick as pig's droppings career politicians infest the chamber. From such mundane cardboard cut-outs as Geoff 'buff' Hoon to David 'never had a proper job' Miliband to my own appalling representative in the House. One Rosie Cooper - the woman who always does what she is told, who never answers a question from her constituents, who never even ackowedges a letter unless threatened with action from the Parliamentary Ombudsman...

The standard of PMQs is an absolute scandal (my own MP, Ms Cooper was voted the person who asked the worst question last year when she asked Blair about the importance of the number 82 bus route through her constituency of West Lancashire).

The House should be slimmed right down - slashed in half. The Scots, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs have their own legislatures - so they should all go. The House of Commons should be renamed 'The English Parliament'.

Anyone wanting to stand to be an MPE (Member of the Parliament of England)should have at least 15 years experience in a proper job (take note Tony Benn's Granddaughter - already adopted as a candidate aged just 17 years old).

The government should buy a block of flats or three, these will then be refurbished using a competitive quoting system. They will also be furnished using the same system, thereby getting the best deal for the taxpayer. These would be in effect, the second homes for MPEs who have constituencies more than 30 miles from Westminster. These flats will be 'lent' to the MPEs - and when they get booted out, they lose the flat - without ever owning it. That way, the taxpayer keeps the asset rather than a speculating MPE.

If any MPE does not want to have one of the flats as his/her second home then they are perfectly at liberty to buy their own second home - at their own expense.

As the flats are obviously all in a small definable area, a Parliamentary bus service can be set up to ferry the MPs to and from Westminster to their second homes. If they miss the bus - they can get a taxi - at ther own expense.

A competitive tendering system should be brought in to get the best deal for the MPEs travelling arrangements. All should travel by train - big discounts can be negotiated and a travel pass system introduced.

The Lords should become a UK Council - very small, very focused to concentrate on all the stuff that affects the UK.

Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers said...

For all of you who think MPs do nothing - do me a favour - the next time you need help with your tax credits, getting a life-saving drug that the NHS refuses to give, problems with the CSA, anti- social behaviour in your village, saving the local school, not to mention the thousand of ridiculous things you expect your MP to do for you such as get your child into a Catholic school when you are an atheist, get you and your 'partner' and your combined 10children a council house, get the bathroom tiles repaired in same council house, get your confiscated alcohol and cigarettes back from Customs, go ask somebody else.

Zena Phobe said...

I'd go along with a salary of about 75K, less a deduction for the real cost of their pension say 15K. Oh, that brings it back to what they get now.
All expenses subject to the usual HMRC rules. Benefits also taxed as such.

Conand said...

'Whatever the details of that solution it must include to pledge that MPs should never again debate or vote on their own pay.'

I disagree, the commons for all it's faults is a democratically accountable body.
The people employ them and if they don't think they're getting value for money they can retire them.
This isn't the case with the upper echelons of the EU Empire.

Anonymous said...

Lets face it an MP is little more than a CAB advisor. How much do CAB volunteers get paid?

Alfie said...

'Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers' said...
'For all of you who think MPs do nothing - do me a favour - the next time you need help with your tax credits, getting a life-saving drug that the NHS refuses to give, problems with the CSA, anti- social behaviour in your village, saving the local school, not to mention the thousand of ridiculous things you expect your MP to do for you such as get your child into a Catholic school when you are an atheist, get you and your 'partner' and your combined 10children a council house, get the bathroom tiles repaired in same council house, get your confiscated alcohol and cigarettes back from Customs, go ask somebody else'.


The stuff you mention above are, apparently the core activities of yer average MP at Westminster.... They seem to centre on Health, Education, Planning, Local Government and Transport issues...

Tell me, Sick and Tired, as these are all wholly devolved issues(as in Scotland's case) or mostly devolved issues(as in Wales' case) - what will the average Scots and Welsh MP be doing for most of the time at Westminster?

Yes, that's right - meddling in English omly affairs!

(Not forgetting their surgeries - I mean, if you live in Scotland and have an issue about Health, then you'll go and see your MSP won't you? Meanwhile, in the Scots MP's surgery it'll be wall to wall thumb twiddling and paper airplane making...

The Commons is a bloated, outmoded, overstaffed and overhyped talking shop. It needs reforming, it needs modernising, it needs restructuring.

verity said...

Brave Anonymous 2:26 - Yes, being British, I know what we say. I deliberately wrote "raise" because Iain seems to have made a decision to adopt American usage. Read through his posts and much of what he writes now resembles American political writing. And over on The Speccie, they have started to refer to Westminster Village as "inside the Beltway" - regardless of the fact that there isn't a freeway encircling our notional Westminster Village. The slavvering wannabee surrender of our usage continues apace. Fortunately, I'm bilingual and comfortable either way.

dozzy said...

"Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers" at 3.19 has let the cat out of the bag by telling us all what MPs actually spend their time doing: "the next time you need help with your tax credits, getting a life-saving drug that the NHS refuses to give, problems with the CSA, anti- social behaviour in your village, saving the local school..." and so on.

By and large these things all involve writing a letter on House of Commons paper to the relevant authority saying either "My constituent has a problem... please see what you can do" or "Dear editor of newspaper, it is outrageous that the government should be thinking of closing our fine local school and please allow me to put on record that I wanted to save it." None of these things involve any special skill or expertise. An electrician has a far more complicated and demanding job. So why do MPs go on and on and on demanding more money, when they are already paid far more than is warranted by the type of work that they do?

David Lindsay said...

MPs' pay should be fixed by statute at the median wage in the public sector, which should in turn be fixed by statute at the median wage in the private sector. Ministers should then be paid a percentage on top, also fixed by statute.

Ed said...

In much the same way that we vote for our MPs we ought to have a say in how much they are paid.

To this end I think we should have a phone-in 'Britain Got Talent', 'Big Brother' type MP pay system.

This would be on a weekly basis where the MP with the top votes get paid the most and the MP with the least votes gets paid the least - for that week. Voting will be on the basis of what we, the people, feel the MPs have done in terms of adding value, being representative and so forth. MPs who do not get any votes for that week, well, they don't get paid for that week. Maybe the next week they will try harder.

Just think how my brilliant plan will get the country at large engaged in the political process, something that is sorely needed. Furthermore all expense scandals will cease immediately as all MPs will be totally focussed on serving the needs of the people (so they can maximise their pay). This is true democracy in action.

Some minor details would need to be worked out, however I commend this proposal to the house.

:-)

verity said...

Well, Ed, I don't know about the rest of the punters, but I like it.

Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers said...

Dozzy

You really are an ignoramus. If you think any of those things are solved by a simple letter you are dumber than your name. I am surpised you are allowed to vote.

Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers said...

Oh yes, Dozzy, they never ever formulate or scrutinise legislation or sit in committees do they. You really do talk out of your arse.

ukipwebmaster said...

We'd all love to get paid more for doing less!
If the MP's think they can keep getting away with this let's hope they all get kicked out.

dozzy said...

Iain, I believe you do not tolerate abuse on this blog. Would you like to remove Sick and Tired of Know Nothing Whingers's posts at 6.15 and 6.25? Thank you.

Diversity said...

Anonymous at 8:41 a.m. has got it right (something about early birds and worms here?)

Link MPs pay to GP's pay. Link their allowances too - G.Ps have surgeries to support, and some even have to work from two locations. Let the Tax Inspector regluate MP's allowances and expenses just as they do the GP's and everyone else's; and abolish the Parliamentary office that administers the special treatment of expenses and allowances that the MPs now get.

There now, Iain. You are a married man who certainly can't rule out being an MP one day. How would that regime suit you?

The Remittance Man said...

I said it over at my place about a month ago:

MP's are demanding salaries equivalent to professionals yet their job bears none of the responsibilities.

They need no learning or experience and, more importantly they bear absolutely zero liability, neither civil nor criminal, if their deeds cause massive loss, injury or death to employees or others.

The worst that can happen is they might lose their jobs at the nex election, but even that is unlikely. Besides, they get a golden handshake should they be unlucky enough to be fired by the electorate.

My view is since most of them simply do what they are told by the Whips and at best recite lines or make "rhubarb rhubarb" noises during debates, the closest normal job to being an MP must be that of bit part actor and their pay should reflect this.

John Woodman said...

Linking MPs pay to third party rates would probably lead to unintended consequences.

How about continuing with MPs setting the rate, but doing it once a Parliament, just before an election, with the rate they set being for the next Parliament. And that rate would be unchanged for that Parliament.

This means:
- at election time, every MP would know what their rate would be.
- at election time, voters would know what the sitting MPs had voted for
- an unchanged rate for the next parliament would be an incentive to keep inflation low
- there is always some turnover of MPs, so there would be a chance of some fair rather than greedy voting.

This deals with rates of pay. In addition MPs pensions need to be realigned with the real world - as do expenses.

an englishman said...

Undedrpaid? you are joking: its quite simple: Paid the national minimum hourly wage, for the hours they do. (checked by clocking in)

I'll grant them a second class rail or bus ticket to travel to and from constituencies; they would be required to use public transport, no allowances for using private transport.

Accomodation in London for out of town MP's? Plenty of empty office blocks in London: turn them into a barracks for them; they can live there free; a 10 foot square room each would be about right

-StuartC- said...

"The job they do"? What's that then? These days they're much less directors of UK Democracy Ltd than somewhere between Office Managers - rubber-stamping EU Directives and filing EU Regulations - and councillors dealing with their constituents' personal problems.

I doubt any such jobs get paid nearly as much as MPs do currently.

There's something especially disturbing about seeing MPs trying to pocket obscenely more cash while having so recently voted to hand even more decision-making over to the EU.

Talk about out of touch. Peter Lilley's Bill has it right.

Anonymous said...

so as a nurse I have to take a pay cut while MP's and City bosses get big pay rises

Capitalism
Yes it works for some

Anonymous said...

Mark thatcher has a good way of making money

how involved was his mother in those saudi arms deals

what happended to that inquiry

Anonymous said...

We couldnt afford to match GP's pay

average £150k a year including private work

Yes I do believe our Mps should be paid well .....shock and yes our PMs and shadow leaders deserve more....real shock

its the expenses that are the issue

fewer Mps better pay
fewer councillors better pay

do you really need up to three per ward

its win win surely

chuck said...

I don't understand how 61 grand is underpaid when they use taxpayers money already to pay for taxis, new kitchens, new gardens, nannies, prostitutes etc.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale:
"I've said before that I believe MPs are underpaid for the job they do"

Careful Iain people might start to think you want to become one.

Anonymous said...

Penfold said...

"If ever there was a better cause in this country for an re-enactment of the French or Russian revolution then we are reaching that tipping point."

No, not yet. First we have to go through the period of the next tory government (mostly doing exactly the same worse-than-useless rubbish as nulub). Then it will be revenge time; I'm looking forward to it.

SACKERSON said...

Underpaid? I'd take that job right now, especially if I could have the concomitant allowances and expenses. Let's go back to the status quo ante, specifically pre-1911. It took over 600 years for the rogues to arrange to get a living out of central government funds:

http://www.parliament.uk/documents/upload/G03.pdf