Thursday, 11 July 2013

Another UK crisis - MPs pay

The UK Government has imposed a 1% limit on the increase of salary for public sector workers for the next three years, having already frozen pay for the last two years.  (At the same time thy increased pension contributions by 1.28% this year, leading to a net decrease in take-home pay while inflation is obviously raging.)

Some people find that outrageous.  Others consider it to be an fair and inevitable way of balancing the books.  But whichever camp you might be in, I suspect that we are almost all in agreement that it would be grossly unfair if Members of Parliament (MPs) are awarded any increase in salary higher than that.  And yet, this is what they tell us we should expect.  In fact they might be awarded an increase of more than 10%, because (at the second attempt) the independent body that reviews their salaries has deemed that they are underpaid.

Neglecting the fact that many of them have second and third paid jobs, along with fairly generous expenses allowances and long periods when Parliament is not sitting, which world is this independent panel living in?

Somehow, it appears that the government is powerless to prevent this inevitable increase.  Exactly why that might be the case is completely unclear to me.  In my view, the MPs should:
  • Do the job that they are paid for - full time, like the rest of us - and yes that sometimes means working late with little appreciation and for much less money than MPs already receive.
  • Not have additional salaried posts.
  • Definitely have their salary increases capped - as after all, they are public sector workers too.  
Its easy isn't it?  It is just like telling another public sector worker that they have achieved the highest level of achievement in their role which might give them a rise of a few percent in normal times, but that in spite of that their pay rise is capped at 1%.

Failing that, I can see the potential for one of the biggest protest marches ever seen in London.  I will be there, whatever else might be happening that day.

Will you?

Further comment:  38 Degrees is obviously lining itself up for a goo campaign on this topic.  Participate in their consultation by following this link.


Sauls Thomas said...



Cesar said...