Thursday, October 22, 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Parliamentary Watchdog to be Paid £208,000!

If you are MP reading this, prepare for a good old splutter.

Readers may recall that a new Parliamentary Standards Authority is being set up to oversee MPs. A chairman and board members for the authority are being sought.

This morning I can reveal how much they will be paid. I hope you are sitting down. The chairman will trouser a massive £208,000 a year at £800 a day for a five day a week. This time commitment will be reduced after eighteen months. Board members will be paid £400 a day, the equivalent of £104,000.

So the chairman of the Parliamentary Standards Authority will earn more than three times the salary of the people he will be overseeing.

I think the taxpayer deserves to know who set this level of remuneration, and whether the three party leaders endorse it.

I, as a taxpayer, think it is a disgrace.

UPDATE: The PSA website indicates the remuneration is £700 per day for a 3 day week, equating to £109,200. Have the terms and conditions changed since that was published? My sources are adamant that it is a 5 day a week role initially, and that the day rate is actually £800.

Interestingly, there is no mention of the remuneration for the 5 day a week chief executive.


JMB said...

"The chairman will trouser a massive £208,000 a year at £800 for a five day a week"

Presume you mean "£800 a day"?

Ben said...

Iain, do you mean £800 per day for a 5 day week, not £800 for a five day week?

Yorkshire Tory said...

I think the taxpayer deserves to know the names of the geniuses who designed this project and who approved it.

Is this an inter-party initiative, since it affects Parliament so intimately? If not, why not? If it is, then the parties owe some explanation.

What ever happened to White Papers, Green Papers, and the climate of discussion?

Finally, did anyone ever consider asking some altruistic member of the good and the great to do this work for free? A super-trougher, for this is what the Great Panjadrum will be, is in no moral or practical position to advise austerity to the ordinary litle troughers.

British democracy is very sick. The antidote is to revive the Constitution and its conventions.

Anonymous said...

Or, put another way, he will oversee public expenditure of at least £40m (that's MPs salaries alone without taking expenses into account).

Given the way many of them have behaved, I want someone good to keep them on the straight and narrow in the future.

ps whay have you disallowed both my posts on the AWS thread pointing out that you have certain self-interest in opposing them. Going to disallow this one too? Brave boy.

Anonymous said...

A total disgrace!

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

You would have more fun and much more influence being a blogging Parliamentary Standards Authority Chairman - grab the money whilst it is on offer - it is the right thing to do!

Anonymous said...

Where do I apply?

Anonymous said...

How brave is it to just post as annon? Why not register or put some tag on the bottom?

Just what does a parliamentary watchdog have to watch? 40 million in wages does not need watching?

We have MPs to watch the executive. Who watches the watchdog? Its crazy.

Roger Dodger said...

Only this government.

MPs oversee things, things go awry.


Change the MPs? Never.
We invent a new quango.

Anonymous said...

The reason for this high salary, and the salary of the CX (around £150k) is because a) the calibre of people they want already earn that kind of money, and b) the jobs are pretty much a poisoned chalice.

Anonymous said...

If MPs ceased to be "employed" by the HoC and instead were paid a "fee" from which they had to cover all their salary, pension, staff and office costs and expenses, then the Inland Revenue would police this on the same basis they police every other self
-employed/small business.

Job done! No extra costs and an end to the situation of one law for MPs and another for everybody else.

Unsworth said...

It shouldn't be necessary to have a 'Watchdog' anyway, that is if the scumbags had any probity and integrity at all, of course.

True Belle said...

Parliamentary Standards Authority already exists, surely?

It will be a lawyer no doubt about that!

People ask silly sums.

When you become an MP Iain, I dare say you you will command even higher fees than you already do , for an after dinner speech or sitting on a board somewhere!

Jealousy about salaries whether private or public will always produce shrieks of disbelief.

Some MPs get very fat retaining fees for sitting on boards, don't they.

Boo said...

Well I don't think the government has a right to complain when the banks get ridiculous pay.
If you can't sort out your own pay, what chance do you have with a multinational company?

Adrian said...

I'll do it for £30,000.

Anonymous said...

We don't need another quango. Transparency, daylight, independent organisations like The Sunlight Centre and The taxpayers Alliance combined with everything being fully disclosed provide the best scrutiny - coupled with that most important ingredient: the right of recall.

I want to be the judge of my MP (a trougher as it turns out) not an overpaid (very) politically appointed quango.

Although it is hard to believe most MPs aren't bad. Let the hoi polloi target the ones that are.

Yosser Hughes said...

And what's your point?

It is surely no surprise to anyone who follows the salaries of Quango members and other publicly-funded worthies that this is a typical level of salary.

You seem to be mixing up government ideas of salary with real world ideas.

Here's an idea - let's restrict all such government jobs so that no-one holds more than one. No more holding a fistful of well-paid posts where the remuneration for even one of them is beyond the dreams of most normal people. Spread the work between the population, bring the unemployment rate down a bit.

I'm not a Lord or Oxford graduate, but I reckon that I'd have no problem checking the expenses claim for a couple of hundred MPs.

And as I'm currently "resting between jobs", I'd be happy to do it for a 1/4 of the quoted salary - I'd still be earning nearly twice as much as the average UK salary.

Gissa job mate!

True Belle said...

The Seven Principles of Public Life
These principles were published by the Committee on Standards in Public Life in 1995.

Selflessness: ministers should act entirely in the public interest.

Integrity: no financial obligations should be accepted if they could undermine the minister's position.

Objectivity: when making appointments, decisions should be based on merit.

Accountability: all public office-holders are accountable, and should co-operate with all scrutiny procedures.

Openness: all decisions should be justified, and information should be restricted only when necessary for the public interest.

Honesty: public office-holders are required, by duty, to be honest in all their dealings and business.

Leadership: the principles should be supported and upheld by leadership and example.

Some do a good job, many fall by the wayside

Fenrir said...

Seems to be far better value than the 646 that he is supposed to be overseeing.

Steve said...

The web page actually says it is epxected to be 2-3 days reducing to 1 day/week. I am not an expert but I think that the chairmen of such bodies would typically expect to have this sort of time commitment. I suppose it's not unreasonable for the person to spend more time at the beginning but if so it is curious that the specification doesn't mention it.

Whether the day rate is appropriate is another question and depends among other things on what you think is an appropriate comparison, and whether you think that the level of remuneration should be a factor in attracting a certain calibre of person for roles where there one could argue that people should largely be motivated by public spiritedness.

Oh - regarding the supposedly mysterious remuneration of the chief exec, the website Q&A says "The post of Interim Chief Executive is paid in the range £105,000 – £115,000 per annum. The post of permanent Chief Executive can only be appointed after the appointment of the IPSA, and will be subject to fair and open competition.".

Mike Law said...

I'd be a board member for nothing if they just paid my fares.

Anonymous said...

Have a look at the type of people required to fill the positions on the board:
The IPSA is to consist of the following members—
one member who is to act as Chair, and
four other members
At least one of the members of the IPSA must be a person who has held (but no longer holds) high judicial office.
At least one of the members of the IPSA must be a person who is qualified to be an auditor for the National Audit Office.
One of the members of the IPSA must be a person who has been (but is no longer) a member of the House of Commons.
Apart from the Parliamentary member, a person who has been a member of the House of Commons at any time within the last five years may not be a member of the IPSA.

More jobs for the establishment boys the likes of whom allowed the whole bloody mess to happen in the first place. These jobs should be filled by upstanding members of the public.

South East Voter said...

You do not need a Parliamentary Standards Authority all you need is transparency where all expense claims must come with a receipt and posted online when claimed. In addition a once a year audit, similar to a self employed person would have to do for tax purposes. Why do Politicians always take the most expensive and complicated choice?

Javelin said...

I hope we get a lot more of the sort of transparency in civil service - like politicians have on their pay.

Some tw@t is Whitehall has spent the last 10 years under New Labour gradually becoming detached from reality.

The OVER SPENDING and SPLURGING by OPAQUE MANAGEMENT has to go into REVERSE - hard working families will not tolerate this ANYMORE.

cherami said...

Beyond parody.

The first quango DC will abolish?

Chad said...

"So the chairman of the Parliamentary Standards Authority will earn more than three times the salary of the people he will be overseeing."


MP's earn three times more than the people *they* are overseeing (avg national salary 20 odd k), so any spluttering MP will now understand why the people are so angry!

Pogo said...

I've read the job spec and I reckon that I could do it standing on my head...

However, as, like the vast majority of the poor buggers who are going to be paying for it, I fall short in some of the more nebulous "skills" - such as "providing a public face, including the Chairing of Boards and undertaking ambassadorial work on behalf of the organisation" (as to why a glorified accounts clerk should need these abilities Dog alone knows) - I don't think I'll bother applying. It's all been teed up nicely for one of "the great and the good" to slide into a nice little earner.

Anonymous said...

It just confirms that these people have no bloody clue. Politics won't be mended, the troughs will just get shifted around a bit. And this hypocrital posturing is supposed to restore faith in the political system? Ye Gods!

Anonymous said...

"the chairman of the Parliamentary Standards Authority will earn more than three times the salary of the people he will be overseeing"

Perhaps the chairman isn't a lying theiving hypocrite. See it as the wages of virtue.

Anonymous said...

What is the difference between JMB,Graham,Trevors Den,Yorkshire Tory and Anonymous?

We are all anonymous- to each other- perhaps we should all identify ourselves?


Nigel Allery said...

I think Jacqui Smith should get the job. She'll need a job soon.

Poachers turned game keepers.

Nigel Allery said...

Is this a good one for DC to lead on at next weeks PMQ's?

Mrs Clayton said...

Let me contribute my incredible senile repetitive, strange, yet strangely compelling, logic to this.
Effectively this is a childminding/foster home situation for the House of commons children.
So – let’s start with registering them as child minders.

Then we pay them the going rate and hire a big old building – say the Barbican where the children...I mean members of parliament can stay and these carers can stay on premises and make sure that our chil...I mean MP’s aren’t sneaking out with Russian Oligarchs after hours and such like.

A little middle aged high spirits is one thing, but we wouldn’t like it to lead to addictions like arms dealing or habitation confusation (I think I just made up that word, but I like it, so it stays) would we?

Anonymous said...

And the jobs will go to truly independent people with no links to political parties, that'll be the day.

I'm sure they won't give the job to an ex-MP/Civil Servant or other lick spittle. /snark

Mrs Clayton said...

Anonymous - when one snarks it is best to do so while not hiding behind a hedge as such.

Cowardice and snarking are a rather pathetic mix dear.

jon dee said...

It may attract one or two MP's, or perhaps ex-MP's.

Can't see the job definition requiring more experience or qualifications for spotting potential fiddles than those possessed by some of the current incumbents.

Add on the motivation of the subsidised Westminster environment - it's a converted trougher's delight.

Snotrocket said...

One of the reasons MPs fiddled so much from the tax payer was so that they could launder state money through to their particular political party. By any other name, this was state funding of parties. Indeed, it is known that the Whips encouraged members who did not claim full ex's to do so and then make an equivalent contribution to the party.

I have a feeling there is much truth in what I say as the same comment, made on a BBC page was moded.

Brian said...

£700-800 per day would be a fair rate for a proper day's work. Albert Pierrepoint was paid a fee of £15 in 1956 per execution which equates to £718.83 in today's money but the IPSA Chairman job description will only result in half apologies a la Jacqui for the guilty instead of stretched necks. Progress?

Anonymous said...

700 a day is not unusual for the likes of barristers and arbitrators etc, but that they always claim covers their staff costs overheads and the like. Not to mention the time they are not working and touting for business.

A guaranteed 800 a day is a rip off.

Anonymous said...

Fair point gallimaufry. Interesting web link.

My earlier point was that it would appear that the post is guaranteed work and Pierpoint's job was well, very casual in nature.

BTW your 700 figure does broadly fit in with my (rough and ready) Mars Bar index.

Brian said...

@trevorsden: They'll be queueing round the block for the chance to hang a troughing MP or Lord and get a Mars Bar afterwards! :)

Cynic said...

The whole device is a typical Gordon shambles.

The members must include

a Judge,
a former MP and
a qualified auditor from an NAO background

with one poor lay sod to pretend this isn't just an assemblage of the great and good.

In other words it will totally ineffective - just as planned

Anonymous said...

I spy with my little eye, someone beginning with 'S'.
Yes, Patrical Jane Scotland, AKA Baroness Scotland, the immigrant 'Attorney General'. The 'Highest Legal Authority In The Land. Yes, THAT Baroness Scotland who doesn't know how to use a photocopier!
When the new Supreme Court gets into 'full swing', l strongly suspect she will quietly resign and 'get appointed' to the new position of Parliamentary Watchdog.
See if l am not wrong!

Quietzapple said...

You don't believe in a market in salaries then?

You would choose the best candidate and tell him/her to do the job for a salary chosen by your salaries comintern?

BollockyBill said...

Anyone so long as it is not 'Gorbals Mick'.
As with all things swishing around the House of Commons, quite outlandish decisions are made on almost every subject for the most obscure of reasons, almost on a daily basis!
If you can't convince them, then baffle them with liberal doses bovine excrement!
Sounds familiar?