Tuesday 21 May 2013

Put it where the monkey puts its nuts!

Those wonderful charitable, philanthropic people frequenting the palace of Westminster are misunderstood. They do a difficult job keeping tabs on the country and keeping everything hunky dory. You know, you don't have to worry about tax fiddles like  Starbucks and Amazon, and arranging cushy deals with Vodaphone. They will be keeping a weather eye on the bankers and their eye watering bonuses.

But there is only so far that one can go, before your local MP will run out of charity. So in a sop to stop you people worrying that they might well clear off and leave you in the lurch. The MP's have come up with a wizzard deal. A piddling little pay rise of a tad under £10,000 a year. Mp's basic salaries would increase from £65,738 to more than £75,000 in a move being considered by Commons officials.

MPs sit in Westminster for around 148 days a year, the equivalent of around 30 five-day weeks. The other 22 weeks are divided between holidays and party conferences. So that's pay amounting to £2500 for each five day week. Or a paltry£67.56 an hour for working a 37 hour week. Or alternatively £1.12 a minute. How do they make ends meet.

Why one senior figure said that "he feared MP's would be seen to be having  their ‘snouts in the trough and that voters may not like it." Correct - the electorate have never liked the idea of you with your snout in the trough.  

He also said "if you pay peanuts you get monkeys." Well thats it then the palace of westminster is full to the brim with monkeys - So just who is that lot, who are sat around in the tea room, busy gorging themselves on chocolate hobnobs and other expenses treats.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which is now in charge of MPs’ pay and expenses. dreamt up this little pay rise - just for those poor underpaid MP's who employ them to take care of their pay. Some officials believe a pay rise as high as 25 per cent – taking salaries to £82,172 – is needed to give MPs a much fairer deal. The prospect of a pay increase for MPs at a time when the government is encouraging austerity in the public sector makes you laugh. So much for this "We’re all in it together" campaign to encourage others to accept no increase or minimal rises of one per cent.

That man of the people and first class Speaker of the house - Mr John Bercow has already warned the Prime Minister not to block a big pay rise for MPs because he is independently wealthy. Mr Bercow said MPs resented party leaders blocking all increases in pay to ‘appease the public’ and urged them ‘not to feel the temptation to interfere’ with IPSA’s ruling. 

I can feel it in my water that another Gorbals Mick moment is coming. 

Mr Bercow said: "There is some historical resentment that party leaders who either had a higher salary by virtue of their office or who have had access to other sources of finance have been very quick to tell ordinary MPs what they should and shouldn't be paid. When you've got other means from whatever source, it’s quite easy to do that and I don’t think it’s clever or brave. When IPSA decides what the rise – no rise, or low rise, or high rise – should be, it should take effect immediately. The party leaders mustn't do what they've always done. The generals have always abandoned the troops and engaged in a Dutch auction to appease the public by saying, “Well of course, I won’t take a rise. I will tell my colleagues that they shouldn’t take a rise”.’

Mr Bercow previously said "MPs should earn as much as a GP or council boss, many of whom earn in excess of £100,000, as their job had comparable ‘breadth, scope and contact with the public."

A senior MP said: "We know we are going to see headlines of “snouts in the trough” but the issue of MPs’ low pay has to be resolved. We got into this mess 25 years ago because we were frightened of being criticised by the press and public for giving ourselves a proper pay rise. Instead, we were encouraged to claim more expenses under the counter. The expenses scandal ended all that and now we are left with a pitiful pay cheque. We are thousands of pounds a year worse off on a pay level that is a joke to any self-respecting London professional. Voters may not like it but if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. Unless our pay goes up, the decline in the quality of people prepared to become MPs and Ministers will increase and the whole country will suffer."

The MP's could always walk away and go out and work for a living - after all - there are thousands of unfilled posts just waiting for someone of their caliber - isn't there?



  1. Hi Mick,

    The way to regulate MPs pay is to link their pay to the wages of the people they represent. For instance the pay could be linked to the average wage in the country. There would be some debate about what was the right level 1) the actual rate (currently about £25,000) 2) Twice the rate or 3) three times the rate etc. Junior ministers, ministers and the PM would have pay rates at a percentage above that for the MPs (say 10%, 20% and 30% more). Once the rate was set then the pay of MPs etc would only rise (or fall) at the same rate as the average wage.

    There are two advantages to this 1) If their policies (eg. austerity measures) have an effect on wage levels so their pay will be affected as well. 2) It would stop these silly rows every time their pay comes up for review.

    I know there are issues about expenses, and those who have second jobs etc, but as a starting point if the basic pay was sorted out then the other issues could be looked at.


    1. Hi John, It's a problem created when certain inflated ego's created by being chosen, makes them believe that they are special. I would like to see a system where second jobs were not allowed.

      Some, MP's actually do a very good job and their constituents recognise their worth. Now, if a pay rise was to be set by each MP's electorate. Limited to those people who's issues were sorted with the help of their MP. That might be more appropriate. Or how about a system where pay is related to time in office, pay raised in line with the national average over the period.

      There are so may other ways to achieve a realistic method of calculating a fair days pay for a fair days work.



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