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Sunday, 8 December 2013

MP's set to receive a salary increase of 11%

 MPs are to get an inflation-busting 11% pay rise


MPs will be paid an annual salary of £74,000 from 2015

An 11% pay rise for MP's.
In these times of austerity, and following George Osborne's "Autumn Statement" last week, it is beyond belief that our elected representatives can receive a pay increase of £7,600.00 (or 11%) while the vast majority of people in the country see their incomes fall in real terms with salaries frozen or at best limited to a 1% increase for another year. Before anyone (if such people actually exists in these times), leaps to the defence of our "Honourable members" with the feeble argument that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, is independent and  MP's have no say in the decision to award this extra salary, these supporters of our "hard working" poorly paid representatives, should consider a few simple facts.
The MP's are not compelled to accept this obscene salary increase. Indeed there is a feeling amongst some MP's that to do so at this time would be at best insensitive and would cause offence to a great number of people. However, it is within the means of MP's to avoid this moral dilemma, and to introduce legislation to the effect that any awards from the independent body has to be approved by a two thirds majority (or some other figure) of the House of Commons. In this way, members would be unable to hide behind the "we have no say in the matter" argument and would be open to public scrutiny in their voting patterns.
It is not without precedent that Parliament is able, at short notice, to introduce retrospective legislation to change the existing rules where the effect of the current measures are difficult (as in the case of the Workfare legislation) or embarrassing for the government or ministers. Such legislation could be introduced well in advance of the next general election and thereby prevent any hostile reaction to the  pay increase against a new government. Perhaps the motivation for announcing an increase more than some 16 months prior to implementation, is a not very well disguised belief that by the time that the increase comes into effect, that the furore surrounding this obscenity will have diminished and that the public will have forgotten all about it.
It is of little comfort to those reliant on the local Foodbank, or the unemployed, or the disabled, or the millions of hard working people in both the public and private sectors, who have seen their wages and salaries frozen and their living standards decimated by this ConDem coalition government, that David Cameron has said Westminster pay should not rise while others face restraint. In the area of British politics, words come very cheap.
The Westminster gravy train with its large salaries, generous pension provisions, subsidised bars and restaurants and it seems, bottomless pit of taxpayers money available to fund extortionate (and sometimes dubious) expenses claims, rolls on and is about to become even more luxurious.