'What should we pay our MPs?' poll discussion

edited 26 May 2009 at 10:50AM in Money Saving Polls
87 replies 9.8K views
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  • Nick_C wrote: »
    I work for one of the London local councils. Business Unit Managers are generally paid £70K to £100K. Directors are paid between £114K and £144K. The Chief Exec is paid between £144K and £165K.

    I am very worried that most people who have taken part in this poll think MPs should be paid £54K or less. The reason MPs have been fiddling their expenses is because they have been scared to pay themselves a fair rate for the job.

    We need to pay MPs a good salary - somewhere between £100K and £120K in my view, and essential necessary expenses to do the job, which must be supported with receipts. MPs must give up all other paid work when they enter Parliament, and place all their investments in blind trusts.

    The constituency home must always be the main home.

    Ministers, the Speaker, and anyone else with a "Grace and Favour" home or official residence, must get no other "second home" expenses.

    A London home should be allowed for any MP who represents a constituency outside of Inner London. The home should be on a shared ownership basis. Any capital gain realised when the home is sold should be split between the state and the MP in the ratios of ownership, and the MPs share should be subject to Capital Gains Tax. Subsidy should be limited to a 4 roomed home - allowing a bedroom, study, and two reception rooms. Longer term, Parliament should acquire a suitable permanent accommodation for MPs (maybe to a CPO on Dolphin Square), which could be rented out to visitors/tourists during recesses.

    Parliamentary and Constituency staff should be civil servants, paid directly by Parliament. One should be a political assistant, the others should be non political. Anyone who is a close relative of any MP must not be allowed to work for Parliament.

    When you see that your MP has claimed £150K expenses for the year, you should understand that most of this goes on paying staff and office costs.

    MPs have enormous responsibility. Most of them work a long way from home, work long unsocial hours, and spend little time with their families. They all do two jobs - they sit in Parliament and they work in their constituencies. They should be properly rewarded.

    We should fund a decent salary by reducing the number of MPs to 400 or less as quickly as possible. We could then then pay them properly and reduce the overall cost.

    We should also give the Welsh Assembly the same powers as the Scottish Parliament, and create an English Parliament. The same MPs should sit in the national and UK parliaments, further reducing costs and dealing with "the Midlothian question".

    You make some good points but I would be reluctant to provide a lifestyle for an MP that puts them too far out of touch with the problems that ordinary people have to live with. Whilst I would agree with you that it can be a long arduous job with very unsocial hours, I feel that the renumeration needs to be pitched at a level where people wouldn't want to become MPs for the money. It isn't easy to know where to pitch it but I would pitch it lower than you.
    Regarding expenses: Anyone who has even a vague idea about such stuff will realise that full time staff and an office are needed. The running costs of such a system is not trivial. I don't think anyone really has an issue about such expenditure so long as nepotism isn't involved. My concern would be that MPs might "flip" families in the same way that they flip second homes. Nepotism by proxy if you will. MP1 employs MP2's son if MP2 employs MP1's daughter. It's the stuff about second homes and associated items where people have issues.
    Mind you, I've not been above a bit of flipping of my own. There was a time when I could afford a private car as well as my work van. I flipped it so that the new insurance policy (i.e. the more expensive one that had accrued no NCB) was covering my van as the tax relief would be more beneficial. When I reverted to van only eventually, the van policy was dropped and I switched the car policy to the van. Totally legal but morally right?
  • I think the point about how much they should be paid isn't the important issue.

    I suppose a genuinely independent board could decide but the big question is are they genuinely independent.?

    The issue for me is one of betrayal of trust.

    Constantly we hear politicians carp on about responsibility and everyone should pay all their taxes and not cheat the system etc.

    We often see benefit cheats knocked down and disgraced given criminal records and ironically limited in career choices.
    Drawing a comparison with a high percentage of the great and the good MPs of Britain quite honestly I think the example these paragons of virtue show is far worse than a young one parent mum doing a few hours cleaning work to bump up her £65 a week benefit money.
    This is far far worse than any of that.

    Had to laugh at the lady MP who was concerned about the possibility of some MPs committing suicide.

    Again I think the Japanese code of harikari for these bunch of two faced thieves is about only thing that will bring any honour back to them.

    None of these spineless criminals will have the honour to do the decent thing.

    Where are the Police?
    Arrests should have been ordered, assets frozen, charges from fraud and obtaining money by deception, to misusing public funds and even treason.

    As said : "if this were you or I" how different it would be.

    £65,000 a year ....doesn't anyone here agree that this is way OVERPAID?

  • George Orwell and Animal Farm come to mind.

    As a taxpayer and being aware of the public purse being strangulated, cannot believe the lack of conscience of these men and women at a time when most people work in jobs with targets, best value and downturns being shoved in their faces every day of their life.

    It was believable in the past, serfdom and all that but at a time when communication, travel and thrift (had to get that one in!) is so easy, not acceptable now!

    Can there be an excuse from a bunch of people who are fit, articulate and in power, to rob the public purse when it is being clamped shut for public services essential to life? no way!

    The vulnerable (aged/young) who are not articulate or fit and have little power are relying more on charity and who puts all their spare pennies/time into their cupboards?

    So the common man is firmly in his place, here's an idea...get parliament to do a savings run on its expenses etc publish it at year end and have a charitable donation of all the savings made to a charity of their choice!
  • I always wondered why the government reneged on their promise to remove Lord Archers title after his short spell in prison.

    I'll bet his Highness Sir Lancelot Lord Archer of Bow is still enjoying full Lord privileges and a commons MP pension salary too.

    That's it they all are con men!

    Why didn't the honest ones speak up?

  • MP accommodation?

    What about Pentonville, Wormwood Scrubbs and Belmarsh? !

  • DecoDeco Forumite
    38 Posts
    If someone hovering over the poverty line is found to be fiddling the benefit system they will be took to court, be forced to pay it back, receive a criminal record and in many cases be sent to prison.
    If an MP scams the tax payers out of their money they receive no punishment, most of them haven't even paid it back! Here we seem to have people think we should give them a pay rise as a result of this scandal.

    An MP should recieve the average wage of the constiuents they represent. How can we expect MPs to vote in laws to benefit your average working class Brit if there on 120K themselves. Being an MP should be a passion not a career plan!
  • Deco wrote: »
    If someone hovering over the poverty line is found to be fiddling the benefit system they will be took to court, be forced to pay it back, receive a criminal record and in many cases be sent to prison.
    If an MP scams the tax payers out of their money they receive no punishment, most of them haven't even paid it back! Here we seem to have people think we should give them a pay rise as a result of this scandal.

    An MP should recieve the average wage of the constiuents they represent. How can we expect MPs to vote in laws to benefit your average working class Brit if there on 120K themselves. Being an MP should be a passion not a career plan!

    I take your point. Maybe there should be a massive increase in state benefits so that people don't fiddle them. Not being sarcastic BTW. Benefit money is pitched as hush money - just enough to stop people starving to death and rioting in the streets (most of the time). If the authorities could get away with not paying it at all I believe that most of them would.
  • joolsyboolsjoolsybools Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    ✭✭✭
    I see they've been voting here. 108 votes for 50m+.

    Nice to see they bother to turn up to vote on this though.
  • BadrickBadrick Forumite
    603 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    ✭✭
    Like someone wrote in the Daily Mail, it's the 95% of MP's, who give the rest a bad name. :p
    Mark Steyn has stated, "In the UK, everything is policed except crime."
  • star9star9 Forumite
    18 Posts
    Surely, regardless of the base level of salaries, the scandal at the moment is not only that they are an unscrupulous bunch claiming for a load of crap, but that they are allowed to do so. They passed tax laws to benefit themselves

    I think that they should a package along the lines of:

    * basic salary, maybe £50-60K, and possibly with the scaling suggested by others. In fact, why not pay them the same as a head teacher - they have similar holidays
    * pension scheme - with contributions just like anyone else
    * second class transport paid for, and chuck in an Oyster card each to save on taxis
    * accomodation for those with constituencies outside the M25 - either use the olympic village or buy and furnish a load of houses/flats in London and one comes with the job or stick them (rent free) in council houses.
    * pay basic bills (utilities, council tax etc) for accom. centrally
    * company lap top and mobile
    * expected to work min of 45hrs a week
    * other expenses - are they having a laugh? On their salary they can more than afford to feed and cloth themselves - maybe if they find it a bit tight, rather than claim for all thier indulgences they could come on here for some hints and tips!
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