Both the Mail and Express splash MPs’ demands for a £40,000 pay rise across their front pages. The articles are uncharitable about the hours worked by most MPs but they probably reflect the public mood. One of the leading champions of higher pay for MPs is veteran Tory backbencher Sir John Butterfill. He tells the Mail:
"There are a lot of unhappy bunnies. Not that many years ago, we were on a par with GPs and heads of comprehensive schools. They are now on £100,000. Over the years, we have been downgraded and compared to junior directors of middle-sized companies at the last review. But, even so, we have failed to keep up."
Sir John and other shop stewards of our elected representatives are probably asking for £100,000 in the hope that they’ll end up with something closer to £75,000. For James Frayne of the TaxPayers’ Alliance the pay claim is proof of the disconnect between MPs and voters:
"At a time when people have become totally disillusioned with the performance and behaviour of politicians, it is extraordinary they should be demanding that taxpayers pay them a six-figure salary."
If Sir John really is an ‘unhappy bunny’ he should vacate his Bournemouth West seat and retire on his gold-plated Commons pension. There are plenty of other – more enthusiastic – Conservatives ready to fill his boots in return for his ‘junior director’ salary.