11 July 2013

MPs' Pay

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was created by Parliament in 2009 to act as an independent regulator and has now proposed a reform of MPs' pay, allowances and pensions.

The BBC, with Nick Robinson leading the charge, seems to be trying to drum up public opinion to oppose the package of proposals; it's focusing on the salary which is recommended to increase from under £64,000 a year to £74,000 in 2015.  Yes, that's way above current increases in the public sector, but MPs' pay has been held down for years.  There's a good deal of rebalancing through the other changes - a change to the pension basis, reduced expenses allowances, and reduction of the 'golden goodbyes' available to retiring MPs.

Personally, I'd like our MPs to be drawn from that pool of people that would be employed at salaries of at least £74,000 a year in middle-to-senior management roles outside Westminster.  If they're not, maybe we should replace them with people that are worth that much.  

When Parliament delegates its decisions about terms and conditions to an independent regulator, the regulator's decisions should be respected.  Instead, we're seeing politicians  posturing about it being an honour to be an MP, or saying that they won't accept an increase.  This just feels like bullshit.  If we pay MPs properly, we have reason to demand better performance from our MPs.  I think we should.  After all, when you pay peanuts, you know what sort of primate will take the job.

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