Tuesday, 26 January 2010

MPs' Salaries

This weekend I listened to Betty Boothroyd talking with Andrew Neil on Straight Talk. During her years as Speaker Ms Boothroyd continued the traditions of Speaker and maintained the standards with unbiased dignity.

Andrew Neil brought up the question of MPs' salaries. Ms Boothroyd, in her usual northern manner, was adamant MPs should earn more and suggested they should earn a similar salary to senior GPs.

Many of you will know I completely disagree with this type of comparison. MPs required no formal qualifications while GPs study for years then achieve high salaries through length of service and experience.

As we know the present basic salary for MPs is £64,766, for all ages and regardless of years of service/experience. My suggestion is that MPs should be placed on civil service salary scales but they have voted strongly against this (page 7). Thus, an MP who has served 15 years would receive more than a newly appointed one. This would ensure that longer serving MPs feel valued. I do not mean the senior civil servant pay scale where the majority earn between £57,000 and £100,000 and Permanent Secretaries (heads of departments) earn £140,000 and more. In previous posts on this subject I suggested the army officer pay scale as a suitable starting point.

Of course MPs will protest and say, "But our jobs aren't guaranteed". Nobody's job is guaranteed these days and MPs receive very handsome winding up allowances (£42,068) and pensions which most of us can only dream of when they leave office.

Since the expenses scandal early last summer has died down we can't allow MPs to think the electorate has forgotten their greed. One remark Betty Boothroyd did say was, "If salaries are increased then the number of MPs needs to be reduced to foot the bill."

Interesting she acknowledges there are too many MPs in Westminster but has she voiced her opinion within her influential circle?

As you'll see I've placed a poll on the blog asking your opinion. The results should be fascinating.


Anonymous said...

I voted 'None of the above' because I believe that MPs should be paid what they are worth.

Recently, I asked my MP (David Clelland) whether he would support a referendum on Europe: his 'reply' was 'Since I won't be standing in your constituency [at the next GE], I suggest you ask those who will be.'

So, what salary would be justified for 'work' done of that calibre?

Certainly 'none of the above' and, in my opinion, I think the useless, lazy b****** should be forced to repay all the money he has taken over years of pure contempt for his constituents.

Since they obviously do not do anything of any use, I don't see why we need them at all.

Strathturret said...

They need to be well paid to get good quality people to do a job with uncertain job security.

If you have a secure job as a middle ranking solicitor/accountant/doctor why risk your job security to become an MP?

We need to remember how we got into the expenses mess! The generous expenses were nodded in to avoid giving MPs a decent wage rise. They were all expected to claim the extra £20k for their second homes.

Brownedov said...

Good post, and sorry to nit-pick but Betty was talking with Brillo on Straight Talk not Hardtalk.

subrosa said...

I can understand you Edgar. Considering the EU run the UK now, I don't see much point for 646 of them and certainly not one should receive more than they do now.

subrosa said...

Strathturret, I didn't expect you to bring up that old excuse. There are plenty mediocre solicitors already MPs and of course few doctors or military.

The job's nothing to do with quality these days it's to do with money.

The reason they get such a large salary at present is because of what you say in your opening paragraph. That doesn't apply today.

Considering, if you're in your 50s and only manage to hold onto your job for 5 years, you receive £40000+ windup then a pension far more than the average national wage, it's a worthwhile move for most of the population.

Mind you, many of 'quality' prefer to be free thinkers and not part of a party machine.

subrosa said...

Ah thanks Brownedov, I've corrected it. You're quite right and I appreciate you pointing it out.

Strathturret said...

The EU does run UK Subrosa. Who started the Iraq war? Who decided on loose bank regulation? Who decided to spend more than we earn? Who decided to send troops to Afghanistan? Who decided to use anti-terrorism legisalation against Iceland?

Answer Westminster.

Who decides on regulations on lorry tail lights.
Answer EU.

Strathturret said...

The EU does NOT run UK obviously.

subrosa said...

Strathturret, all your examples were before the Lisbon Treaty was signed. By this time next year we'll all see who runs UK PLC.

BTS said...

What SR said.

The Lisbon Treaty has opened the door and now it just becomes a question of how much power they take and how long it takes.

It's also worth bearing in mind that if the EU were only in existance to regulate such mundane and spurious details then one really would have to question the point of the whole exercise (other than providing some rather large and dodgy paychecks for a bunch of eurotossers who I didn't vote for).

On the question of our mps wages, I would suggest that they are more than sufficient at present but that the payoffs and perks should be reduced. Let them fund their own pension schemes out of their own salaries. Y'know, like the rest of us..

Apogee said...

Personally, I wouldn't even consider hiring most of them, never mind paying them what they are getting.
If payed by results,most of them would starve!
If they had the qualifications for the offices they are expected to do it would be a different thing.


subrosa said...

Evening BTS. Having spent some time trying to unravel the Lisbon Treaty one fact I did learn is that the EU has control over the UK. No arguing.

Your opinion on MPs' pay is possibly in the majority. They do contribute towards their pensions I think but it's an excellent deal if I remember rightly.

subrosa said...

Hi Apogee, that's what sticks in my craw, the fact they don't need formal qualifications to walk into a £64k job and also experience is not taken into account.

If these details were made fairer, then both parliaments may attract the great and the good as Strathturret suggests.

BTS said...

Sorry SR, I rather think I misrepresented myself in my comments relating to 'mundane and spurious details' somewhat - I was referring to Strathturret's comments relating to them only governing such things as 'regulations on lorry tail lights'.

Lack of computery-type internet whatsits has lead to a lapse in memory about mentioning who and what one is jabbering about. My bad.

mps' (this lot don't deserve capital letters..) do get a fantastic top-up on their pension contributions. I don't recall the details but it is a beauty. And they decide on it for themselves. Along with their salaries. And everything else.

But the bitch of it is that they're the only ones who can decide whether or not to use a different system of oversight and then whether they wish to adopt it. It's just dodgy, piled on disingenuous, with an sprinkle of hundreds and thousands on top.

That could equally read 'hundreds of thousands'..

subrosa said...

I'm with you now BTS. Technology can be wonderful but confusing too, I completely understand that.

The whole system needs cleansed BTS. Watching the likes of Margaret Beckett at the Iraq Inquiry yesterday blustering her way along with her verbose nonsense, was a prime example why MPs should be controlled by civil service rules.

Gedguy said...

Let us remember that the EU has forced the UK to bring in laws that the UK government would never have done if they were not part of the EU. I am thinking of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
I started work in 1972 when there was no legal definition of Health and Safety, escpecially in the industry that I was flung into; the construction industry. Prior to the EU insisting on this the UK government cared not for the safety or health of the ordinary workers. I suspect that some people have forgotten the 'bad old days' and the contempt that the majority of employers held their employees in.
As to the MPs, the sooner we dump this 'unfit for purpose' UK democracy(?) and get independence the better I shall feel.

Strathturret said...

The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 came about after the Flixborough Chemical Explosion folks. Not the EU.

Strathturret said...

Yes Beckett was poor. No great surprise. Foreign Minister was a promotion or two too far for her.

subrosa said...

Don't you think we would have been part of the H & S legislation if we had been in the CoE rather than a full member of the EU Gedguy? By now I mean.

H & S wasn't given much more acknowledgement in Europe either back in the late 60s or early 70s but it crept in slowly. I would say that Switzerland perhaps had better H & S legislation in those days than any other country I experienced. They're still not full members of the EU either.

It does go to show it's our governments who should ultimately show care for the people. Industry/employers will do the minimum to protect their profits.

Sadly I don't see Westminster will ever change as it has no desire to do so. What I do see is that the English appear to be waking up and realising they are the 'piggies in the middle'. I'm delighted because they too deserve their own parliament.

subrosa said...

Ah Strathturret, a man with obviously comprehensive H & S knowledge. I'd forgotten about Flixborough but I do remember seeing it on Russian TV which was the only channel giving a little British news in those days.

She didn't appear to be highly regarded within her peer group Mrs Beckett. By remarks she made she was quite ignored. Probably for the reasons you say.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

For a group of individuals to be supposedly responsible for the wellbeing of a country that has suffered during their watch plagues of corruption, financial meltdowns, illegal, morally bankrupt and strategically unwinable wars leading the country into debt and depression, to be considering an increase in their remuneration is adding insult to injury.

These people have forgotten - if they ever knew it - that the first principle of governance, is not their standing in the security council or their place in the kennels of the USA, but the wellbeing, aspirations and contentment of the people they serve.

Against that criteria, few of the 650 in the Commons or their 750 part time carpet baggers in the Lords could lay claim to have earned an honest penny.

By their incompetence they have turned democracy into a joke and freedom into a tragedy.

subrosa said...

'By their incompetence they have turned democracy into a joke and freedom into a tragedy'

Heartily agree although I would add, with the exception of one or two, the word greed to that Crinkly.

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