Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MPs Should Be Paid More

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

MPs Should Be Paid More

Article excerpt

FOR public-sector employees whose pay rises are capped at three per cent, a 66 per cent pay rise for MPs would seem galling.

On balance, however, an increase in salary for MPs is probably a good thing.

Prior to the introduction of salaries for MPs in 1911, working-class and the trade unions' interests were largely excluded from the House of Commons because only the wealthiest, but not necessarily the most capable, individuals could afford a life of public service.

While it would be desirable that MPs are drawn to politics regardless of personal needs or financial lure, in reality, the vast disparity between the salary of MPs and the private sector deters many talented individuals.

Some MPs are distracted from their public duties with interests ranging from directorships to appearances on Celebrity Big Brother.

A pay increase would certainly reduce the need for these outside interests and allow MPs to concentrate on the job for which they were elected.

For those altruistically minded MPs who find such a pay hike morally objectionable, there would be nothing preventing them from employing an additional researcher or donating their new-found wealth to charity.

Robert Mott, WC1.

I AM amazed at the massive pay increase being demanded by some backbench Tory MPs today.

I don't want to see people joining political parties in order to climb the ladder to higher wages. I want to see politicians who care about the policies they are driving forward, not those who care about what kind of car is driving them forward (not you for once, Mr Prescott).

MPs say they want their pay to be on a par with doctors and other members of the private sector. But when was the last time a junior politician worked back-to-back double shifts over the Christmas holidays?

At a time when Conservative MPs should be showing the voting public that their self-interest-serving days are behind them, this comes to light. Maybe the answer is for Mr Brown to give them the [pounds sterling]40,000 increase and cap their expenses, which average at [pounds sterling]134,000, at [pounds sterling]100,000. …

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