This morning’s FT reports that Gordon Brown and David Cameron are both urging their MPs to reject above-inflation pay increases for themselves. If previous research is to be believed then Conservative MPs are the least likely to be accommodating.
There seem to be a number of issues here (in no particular order):
- The recommendation of higher pay comes from an independent review body. Shouldn’t that body’s advice be accepted?
- If MPs vote for above-inflation pay increases, where does that leave the Government’s attempts to restrict wider public sector pay settlements?
- Over the years MPs’ pay has fallen behind the pay of public sector employees that they were once ranked alongside.
- MPs’ pensions are widely regarded as amongst the best in the world.
- There is no shortage of people wanting to be MPs but are we attracting MPs of sufficient quality?
- Only one-third of ex-MPs are able to secure higher salaries for themselves.
- Tory MPs, in particular, have many outside paid interests. Would these interests continue if pay was increased significantly or would they continue on the same scale?
- Should a new pay settlement be part of a wider reconsideration of MPs’ allowances?
- Should MPs be allowed to employ members of their families?
- Should MPs be voting on their own pay at all?