Blogpost: Mr Perrin has concerns over MP’s pay

Blogspot: A Word in Your Ear from Mr Perrin.

Money! Money! Money!

Does your heart bleed for these “poorly” paid MPs struggling on a current salary of £66.396p.a plus expenses who need an increase of 11% [£7,600] to survive? Their current salary is already more than double [2.25] than that of the average full-time worker.
Or, like me, are you sickened by MPs wringing their hands in anguish proclaiming the increase is being “forced” upon them and they, “reluctantly”, are obliged to accept it.

However, a survey earlier this year by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority [IPSA] found more than two thirds of MPs felt they were underpaid, the average suggested rate being £86,250p.a. It is interesting to note the majority of Tory MPs wanted £96,740, Lib Dems £78,361 and Labour £77,322. A fifth of MPs questioned said they deserved £95,000 or more.

How often have we been told by MPs that they are not in the job for the money? I think the IPSA survey suggests otherwise and the claim that they are motivated only by a sense of duty and service is nothing short of hypocrisy.

It is claimed that it is vital that MPs pay is high enough to recruit the right sort of person. Judging by the events of recent years, such as the expenses scandal, it would seem the higher the salary and expenses the more likely the greedy candidate will be attracted. Tory Boris Johnson believes “greed is good”. I doubt many of his colleagues would disagree with him.

MPs are aggrieved that they are paid less than senior civil servants, senior executives in local government and some head teachers. They overlook the fact that such people do “work” for their money, whilst MPs seem to spend most of their time sitting around shouting at each other like unruly children. Perhaps it would be more appropriate, if they truly believed their worth is comparable, rather than seeking to raise their own salary they should reduce the salary of the senior civil servant, senior local government executives and head teachers to that of their own.

It is reported that Tory MP David Ruffley said he was “minded” to accept the pay rise if there were tough curbs on perks to balance it. He needs to be made aware of the fact that millions of people work for far less money than he gets without the addition of perks, they pay their own travel costs and pay for their meals from their own pockets, not at the expense of the tax payer.

I find it offensive that an MP considers that what he/she does is worth eight times more than a worker such as a refuse collector [dustman]. I do not subscribe to the idea that everybody should be paid the same but I do believe that the worth of a refuse collector should be more fairly recognised when compared to the worth of an MP.

Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley is reported to have pointed out the dilemma facing MPs: “The only way they could overturn this [pay rise] is to defy their leaders and pass a law saying IPSA is abolished or ignored. That’s impractical, given the public interest of setting up IPSA. So I think we’re stuck.”

I politely suggest to all MPs they get themselves “unstuck” and in the public interest pass a law to do both i.e. abolish and ignore IPSA.

This scandalous pay rise is not just a huge slap in the face to workers who have endured wage decreases since the 2010 general election and a 1% restriction to future pay increases in the public sector; it is a viscous kick in the groin.

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