There seems to be no end to the delusion in our political system. In the latest fiasco, MPs think they deserve and ENORMOUS pay rise averaging 32%, while the rest of the country struggles to cope with their incompetent, and sometimes downright insane, policies and actions.
The final report of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) on its consultation on MPs pay and pensions produced astonishing results that have angered union leaders across the country.
Of the 650 MPs surveyed, 33% said the public sector pay freeze of 1% should not be applied to them, Conservative MPs thought they should be paid £96,740, LibDem MPs thought they should be paid £78,361, and Labour MPs thought they should be paid £77,322.
25% of MPs thought they should earn more than £90,000 and 8% said they should earn more than £100,000.
One MP thought that MPs pay should be cut to £40,000 or less. Unsurprisingly, no other MPs thought their pay should be cut.
Union general secretary told the Daily Mirror MPs should get real. This poll shows how totally out of touch they are. How can they think they deserve a 32% increase when the rest of the country is being told to tighten their belts? Public sector workers such as teaching assistants, school dinner ladies, nurses, paramedics and care workers are struggling because they have had their pay frozen for years. It would be nice to hear MPs backing calls for a decent rise for these workers instead of themselves.”
As we could expect, very lame arguments have been used by MPs to justify their delusional beliefs in their own value. Some say that they ‘work hard’, although they fail to take into account that is the reason they get paid so much in the first place, and ‘working hard’ is a subjective thing. Others play the altruistic card by saying they have taken ‘salary cuts’ to be an MP, forgetting to mention the earning potential of being, or having been, and MP and the useful contacts they make that increase their future earning potential dramatically if they want to, let alone all of the fringe benefits that significantly increase the basic salary of an MP.
Of course, we are tarring MPs with the same brush, and there are exceptions.
IN ADDITION to their salaries for being MPs, they can earn as much as they want from other employment and business, and many do. Spending less than 6 months of the year being an MP gives them plenty of time to cash-in.
A VERY conservative estimate of the CURRENT value of being an MP, without interest free loans, pensions, lump-sum payments, and other occasional benefits, averages at approximately £120,000 pa each for each 100 days parliament sits – this year parliament will be sitting for 171 days.
The benefits of being an MP:
MPs get a huge range of perks on top of their £65,738-a-year pay packets.
- These include no-interest loans, cut-price meals and free taxi journeys and overnight accommodation.
- The cost to the taxpayer of subsidised food and drink in the Houses of Parliament in 2011 was £5.8million
- Politicians are allowed free loans towards the cost of their expenses. And until last summer they could claim mortgage interest on second homes.
- They are also allowed £15 towards an evening meal if the Commons sits after 7.30pm. If they are staying outside London, they can claim £25 for an evening meal.
- MPs travelling on Parliamentary business are allowed up to £80 for taxis and up to £150 per night for a hotel.
- Those with seats outside the capital can also claim a maximum £20,000 a year for rent.
- They can get £22,000 towards office costs. And MPs in the capital get an extra £3,760 a year towards “additional expenses of living in the London area”.
- This year the Commons is sitting for 171 days – meaning MPs will be away from Parliament for 194 days.
- But they argue most of this time is taken up with constituency duties.
- On top of perks and pay, MPs also enjoy gold-plated final salary pensions.
- For each year in Parliament they normally receive a retirement salary of either 1/40th, 1/50th or 1/60th of their final salary – depending on how much they chose to pay in during their career.
- If they want the top pension they have to contribute 11.9% of their salary.
- An MP serving the average term of 15 years, paying the top rate, would walk away with £22,500 a year.
- Members can also choose to exchange part of their pension for a tax-free lump sum of up to 25% of the value of their pension.
Some information excerpts from the Daily Mirror and Guardian newspapers and the IPSA report .