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How much should MPs be paid?

in MoneySaving polls
69 replies 6K views


  • MP's should be paid at a realistic wage... I think the ave. national wage is sufficient... It's above minimum wage which is what an increasing number of the work force are now being paid. They need to remember they are in post to serve the British public and NOT to grossly line their own pockets by means of sheer greed!!!
  • aztdazaztdaz Forumite
    1 Post
    If they are given a rise they should pay there own expensers and withdraw from any other outside interests.
  • JimmyTheWigJimmyTheWig Forumite
    12.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    The problem with offering an "average" UK salary and seeing being an MP as a vocation is that the end result will be MPs who can do it for "the love" of it because they have plenty of income from other sources - maybe not another job but inheritances, wealthy relatives, BTL portfolios, vast tracts of land, etc etc. We need teachers, bus drivers, people who know about normal life in the UK to take up the MP mantle as well as rich George Osborne types.
    I've suggested that an average MP should earn the same amount as an average teacher.
    So I don't see that the people you mention would have a problem living on that wage.
  • MP's salaries have always been controversial. In the past, MP's were unusual in that they were one of the few bodies that set their own salaries. That's why setting them was passed to an independent body. Just because some people may not like the answer the independent body came up with is not a reason for the recommendation to be ignored.

    The problem with MP's salaries was exacerbated in the 1980's, when, rather than MP's increasing their salaries they started increasing their allowances as a back-door way to give themselves a pay rise. That was all down to short-term politics, and boy did that backfire.

    The independent body will have undertaken a full "Compensation and Benefits Review" (similar to many large companies throughout the corporate world). They will have judged the level of compensation necessary to attract the right calibre of individual. They will have also taken account of the almost unique way MP's are recruited (i.e., elected) and dismissed (i.e., being booted out by the electorate). MP's have little job security, except for a small proportion in solid safe seats. That has to be taken in to account when setting the compensation level.

    If you don't like your MP, or you don't think they're value for money you can vote them out.

    As for expenses, any medium or large sized company that has employees working away from home will have a policy for paying staff who work away from home. MP's should (and generally already do) have such a policy.

    The principle is very simple. You get a salary for your job, and then you're compensated for all your duplicate expenses that you necessarily incur when running 2 homes. So, your rent and duplicate utility bills are paid for. Your travel to work from your home location (your constituency) is paid for. The problems that arose from the expenses scandal were not so much that MP's had too many expenses they could claim for, but that the expenses policy was not enforced sufficiently rigidly, so, for instance, an MP was able to claim for cleaning their moat when all common sense said that simply was not a reasonable expense that the taxpayer should pay for.

    So, if we compensate MP's fairly and remove their salary compensating expenses, we will have a better, more transparent system.

    However, I suggest the bigger issue is not what MP's are paid, but what they actually do. It's not widely appreciated, but MP's are self-employed. And there's no job description. Constitutionally, all back-bench MP's are required to do is vote, and if they wish to, participate in debates. There is no requirement for them, for instance, to run constituency surgeries, or indeed even to maintain contact with their constituents. That's why so many MP's have the time to have other jobs, consultancies, etc.

    As citizens, we should ask whether it is appropriate for MP's to act as untrained counselors, debt management advisers and liaison officers between constituents and public bodies - which makes up most of MP's case loads in their constituencies. If this expectation is removed we could simply and quickly reduce the number of MP's in Parliament.

    The citizens of the United Kingdom are one of the most over-represented peoples in the world, with representatives for the European Parliament, the House of Lords, the Commons, the Scottish, Welsh and NI regional assemblies, usually 2 levels of local government and even parish representatives.

    If we were to redefine the role of an MP and reduce the number of MP's to, say, 250 we would dramatically reduce the costs of government as well as have MP's who are focused on representing the views of the country. MP's salaries (and expenses) would not be so much of an issue, and the population would better understand the role of an MP.
  • iansoadyiansoady Forumite
    28 Posts
    They should be paid a decent salary (I don't think £75,000 is too much) but they should NOT be allowed any paid external work and should be banned from working for private firms that are contracted to government for at least 5 years (10 if they have had any ministerial responsibility).
  • wiganshalewiganshale Forumite
    27 Posts
    This poll misses out on so much.
    Besides their ridiculous expenses claims, they have a subsidised canteen.
    Their mail is paid for.
    They have excluded themselves from certain taxes.
    They get a final salary after one term of Parliament, presumably for each term of Parliament, even if it lasts for only a few months.
    They get a lump sum payment based on each parliamentary session.
    They get jollies e.g. A local MP got a trip to Fiji to foster relations. My MP had visits to Canada and China, within his first year, or so, in office. They can legally become "advisor's" for various companies. E.g. David Miliband was getting £250k for something like 12 half days ,as a director of Sunderland F.C., presumably with free box for home matches and all the shrimp butties he could manage.
    My last MP was made a Scientific advisor(£300k) for a company that wanted contracts for nuclear power stations.
    They get allowed a salary to pay a researcher to work for them (usually their spouse , or unemployed sprog)
    Their actual salary is the visible part of the iceberg and doesn't account for quasi-legal lobbying payments and campaign donations.
    I may have missed a few more bits that they can pick up but I should think some of them would do the job without a salary.
  • :mad: I am angry that the biggest scroungers in the country are wanting more money, when the rest of us are struggling to survive on what we get. Many of us have had our wages frozen for years because of the recession. Some of us have been made redundant, including myself. I took the first job I was offered, and at age 56, with all my experience, was on the same salary as the office junior :(. It's hardly an incentive.

    I would LOVE to earn the average wage, but right now it's just a pipe dream.
  • firelwfirelw Forumite
    7 Posts
    why are mp's even considering an obsene pay rise. THEIR OWN RULE OF A 1% PAY INCREASE FOR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS APPLIES TO THEM ALSO.
    we also have more mp's than America has senators, a cull of mp's should take place. my London borough has 3 mp's. surely 1 is enough.
  • ptrichardsonptrichardson Forumite
    238 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    They should be paid a lot more. They don't get as much as a GP? There's 10 GPs in my town. My MP is supposed to be doing something extremely important - representing us all.

    If the salaries are very low, who will do the job? Rich people who are motivated to change the laws of the land to suit their business interests.

    Caveat to all of this - pay them well. Very well. But do not let them have any financial interests in any business whatsoever. There should be absolutely no chance of a conflict of interest.
  • I think people need to realise that if we are to try to get the best persons available to do the job then they need paying.
    All the silly comments such as:
    they should do it voluntarily....... leading to a very elitist group as commoners would not be able to afford to take up the role.
    they should be grateful as i manage on a lot less..... i want the best applicants and this is the only way to attract them.

    Pay them good money.....kill the perks..... kill the option of taking extra directorships...... kill the option of second homes when they already own a property in London..... pay them a set amount for an assistant and monitor travel expenses.

    For a teacher, mid ranking police officer etc to be paid more than our elected MP is silly.

    Pay them properly.

    My suggestion would be a minimum of £175K
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