Warning: This post was published more than 9 years ago.
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Shortly, MPs are to vote on how big a pay increase they should give themselves. Even asking such a question of MPs – essentially, how much money do you want – seems crazy enough, but this is British politics, and so craziness is par for the course.
So, happily, that’s not where the craziness ends.
See, Gordon Brown wants MPs to limit their pay increases to 1.9%, since that’s what other public sector workers are getting.
This totally ignores the fact that MPs are currently earning £60,675 – or more than double that for cabinet ministers – compared to £22,000 for a nurse, £20,000 for a police officer, or £15,000 for a soldier. Limiting the increase to the same relative value as these people has no real meaning. Perhaps limiting their salary to the public sector average would have some meaning, and may focus minds a little more – although still, with the number of perks received by MPs, the figures would not be truly comparable.
Where is the justification in paying MPs so much more than other public sector workers? Their job is to represent the views of their constituents – something few of them actually seem to do these days – and such a position should be seen as a privilege, not an arduous task for which financial recompense needs to be comparatively extreme.
Looking at things this way makes Daniel Kawczynski comments seem loopy:
I can’t look into the eyes of my constituents who are police officers and say ‘you will stick at 1.9% but I, as an MP, should have more than that’.
…but apparently he can look them in the eyes and say ‘Hey, I sit in a cosy office all day, you risk your life on the streets, I deserve thrice your pay!’