1. Britain’s members of parliament are about to get a £7,600 pay rise.
MPs are set to enjoy an 11 per cent pay rise to £74,000 in 2015. The proposal, which is due to be officially published on Thursday, will be offset by reductions in the value of MPs’ pensions, according to The Sunday Times.
2. Meanwhile, nurses and teachers are still subject to pay freezes as a result of austerity measures.
The majority of public sector workers will see their pay packet rise by a maximum of one per cent a year until 2015-16, as part of the government’s austerity measures.
3. The leaders of the three major political parties have stated their opposition to the pay rise plan, while a handful of MPs have already pledged to refuse the extra money.
If you watched today’s TV or radio coverage then you’d get the impression that this is being imposed on MPs against their will, with only a few parliamentarians being brave enough to speak up in favour of a bigger pay packet.
4. But hang on, what happens when you ask MPs anonymously? Well, most admit that they do want a pay rise.
At the end of last year YouGov asked 100 MPs to give their honest opinion on pay, with a guarantee that their views would not be made public.
Most felt they deserved more money.
5. And most MPs were after a bigger pay rise than the one they’re going to get – a 32 per cent pay increase to £86,000 a year.
Just a fifth of MPs felt their pay should be frozen or reduced.
6. …with Conservative MPs who responded feeling their salaries should be close to £100,000 a year.
7. MPs’ anonymous responses reveal a belief that they’re not paid enough compared to successful businesspeople or headteachers.
Media commentators should shadow a week in the life of an average MP to understand the pressure, breadth of knowledge and social skills that are required to do the job. They have no idea.
The costs associated with doing the job should be recognised. For example, we receive endless requests for raffle donations, breakfasts, teas, dinner, lunches etc. We frequently have to entertain people. And we spend money on things which cannot be claimed back.
If MPs were paid more there is less likelihood of them needed to take second jobs. The quality of MP will reduce if the pay does not improve and if the public continue to despise them
11. The problem is, MPs don’t have any control over their pay. It was taken out of their hands as a result of the duck houses.
Following the 2009 expenses scandal – all control of MPs pay and expenses was handed to a new body: the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority.
It was supposed to depoliticise the decision-making process, analyse the situation and come up with a fair settlement to please everyone.
12. But instead the organisation has decided that MPs deserve more money. Which is awkward.
Meanwhile, a large number of MPs are quietly hoping that the change goes ahead as planned.