Ever since it was announced that MP’s are to be awarded an 11% pay rise the media, charities and just about every breathing citizen in the United Kingdom has expressed their outrage. Even MP’s have voiced their opposition.
Surprisingly it wasn’t MP’s that awarded themselves this pay rise (surprisingly), it was an independent and unelected body known as The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) that did that. This organisation was set up in 2009 after the expenses scandal. It’s job is to oversee and publish details of all MP’s expenses in order to keep them out of jail. It was the IPSA that suggested this pay rise, it’s all their fault.
Now the IPSA want to know what we think of them so they’ve launched a public consultation. The consultation runs until 19 January 2014. Here’s what the IPSA’s chairman, Sir Ian Kennedy had to say about it:
Since IPSA was created, we have established a new, robust, transparent and effective system for administering MPs’ business costs and expenses. While the Scheme is operating well, we are considering suggestions for minor adjustments to ensure that the rules remain appropriate.
As always, we are mindful of the need to manage taxpayers’ money effectively while ensuring our rules provide MPs with the support necessary to carry out their parliamentary functions.
It is important that IPSA should hear from as wide a range of people as possible. I am keen to hear your views as part of this year’s consultation.
Minor adjustments!!?? Well, I’m not sure anyone would call an 11% pay rise “a minor adjustment”.
Ahh but it’s not the pay rise you think it is say the IPSA. In order to subsidise this £7600 a year pay award it’s been suggested that the money be taken from MP’S pension pots. In this way the percieved pay rise won’t cost the tax payers very much at all.
Now it begins to make sense. MP’s don’t want to accept this pay rise because it will mean they will get less when they retire. And after all most of them will be longer retired than they are elected.
It still raises the question, should our MP have comparable earnings with say, head teachers who can earn over £100,000 or with a GP on around £150,000 per annum? Currently MP’s salaries are £66,360.
I’m not comparing the value to society of these public servants nor am I saying that MP’s are any more or less important, but I do think our members of parliament should have a realistic salary with set pay scales and not have to rely on “open ended” expense accounts in order to push up their earnings.
What I would love to see is how they’d react to a suggestion that pay rises should be based on performance which was assessed by their constituents. Listening to their howls of indignation would be such fun, don’t you think?