It is perhaps inevitable that, where employees can set their own wages, their pay is likely to rise to artificially high levels. However, this does not explain why the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), set up to police our representatives after the expenses scandal, is (it has been leaked) planning to recommend that members receive a pay rise of between 15 and 30% on top of their salaries, albeit in exchange for modest reductions in their defined-benefit pensions. A recent survey of 100 members showed that they believed pay was too low, and would be likely to support any pay rise offered.
In what looks like shocking hypocrisy, the 650 individuals who overwhelmingly voted to freeze the pay and cut the pensions of every cleaner, nurse, teacher and public sector worker in the land, have complained that their remuneration is too low. I’m speechless. £65,000 is a salary higher than 97% of workers in this country, and these public servants want other workers on less than the Living Wage to endure a pay freeze while they get double-digit pay rises?
Surprisingly, I don’t agree with the left-wing notion that MPs should be paid no more than the national average wage. If pay levels are too low, then talented people would stay away. If our society values democratically elected representatives more than a supermarket manager, pay would have to reflect this. However, there ought to be a clear link between the success of our representatives in improving our lives and there financial rewards. Also, we must resolve the serious attitude problem that most MPs demonstrate with their disgustingly hypocritical views on public sector pay.
My suggestion is that MPs’ pay is linked to a Civil Service pay grade, which is in turn based on a multiple of the national average salary- somewhere between 2.5 and 3.0 times. And perhaps if pension arrangements were downgraded to those which the Government is trying to inflict on public sector workers (Labour’s view on the matter isn’t so clear), they might better sympathise with the outcry made by the unions. To be fair, some MPs have expressed similar views to the effect that they’d oppose any pay rise until living standards are increasing for the general public. And though it’s a long shot, this group might persuade fellow members if evidence of public anger over the matter is presented to them. Please sign this e-Petition to help defeat this self-serving pay rise.