Saturday 15 June 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013 Posted by Jake 4 comments Labels: , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, June 15, 2013 with 4 comments | Labels: , , , ,

It is suggested that paying MPs more would get a better calibre of people into the Houses of Parliament. 

The reality is an MP’s basic pay puts him or her above the wages of more than 95% of Britons. 

The graph below uses HMRC figures for 2010-11 and an MP's basic salary that year of £65,738.

This does not include the other income MPs can derive directly from Parliament:
And it does not include money they earn within Parliamentary rules doing other jobs while still employed as an MP, including Gordon Brown MP and Stephen Philips QC MP whose other earnings dwarf their parliamentary salaries.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) did a survey of MPs, and found they too felt they deserved a pay rise. Though the amount of the increase over their then £66k basic salary varied by party:

It is suggested by some that MPs and Peers would be less corrupt if they were paid more. History has shown that no matter how much is paid some people will always take more. A report by the High Pay Commission showed:

“In 1980, for instance, the boss of Barclays was earning 14.5 times average pay at the bank; the current boss, however, is on 75 times the average, representing a 4,899% rise over that 30 years."
Giving MPs an extra few thousand may sate the less insatiable MPs. But the more dodgy would quickly fill the vacuum and take over the consultancies and directorships that the less dodgy decline.

It is also suggested that if a Parliamentarian in the normal course of his life has access to movers and shakers, what is wrong with him taking money for getting things moved and shaken. The equivalent of saying because a supermarket cashier in the normal course of his life has access to his till there is nothing wrong with him pocketing a handful of tenners every now and then. 

Parliamentarians are already paid more than 95% of Britons to move and shake things. But their parliamentary salaries and their access to movers and shakers is specifically for the interests of their constituents. Not for their own interests in funding their personal pleasures and hobbies.


  1. When half of our people earn less than £20k, which is not a lot of money here in rip-off Britain this information may be viewed as totally immoral. From what I have seen of MP's, and had the unfortunate experience of having presented a complaint to my local MP, I would demand that they take a huge pay cut. Let them be paid for the hours that they actually show up at Parliament for instance. Let us have true PR, so that WE citizens can select a person to represent US.

  2. What a wise polity would first improve is better supporting and funding the entry and exit paths for any citizens into becoming professional politicians at every level. Currently it is such a difficult and costly undertaking that the career path is heavily biased towards the wealthy. This discriminates against citizens from poorer and relatively disadvantaged backgrounds (working class women for example) becoming professional politicians.

    It is no surprise therefore that most professional politicians construct policies which favour the rich and well educated. Being wealthy does not correlate well with compassionate wisdom.

    The difference between being an MP and being an influential MP often is access to money. Increasing the basic pay of MPs would make a slight difference to this reality.

    Better access to the rich and powerful will offer opportunities for corruption to MPs whatever the pay level.

    1. "Professional politicians" are EXACTLY what is wrong with Britain.

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