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James Maskell

Thats a huge increase in their pay. Cant agree with that proposal Im afraid.

Tony Makara

While I have often criticized the quality of MPs in recent years I do not an MP receiving a sizable wage. However that should be conditioned by an insistance that they work full-time and are proactive in their constituency. The standards of MPs needs to be raised though. That is a job for the parties at selection time. The first time I met an MP I was shocked at her intellectual poverty. She could certainly parrot off party policy briliantly but on speaking to her at length it became clear that her knowledge of wider political and economic matters was scant to say the least. The average MP of today is a poor relation to their counterpart of thirty years ago.


My little grey cells are laughing at this idea. Some MPs would simply find some other way of getting the money from private firms or unions etc. This could lead to corruption. Also - this is an insult to those of us who do proper jobs in the public sector and cannot get a decent wage under any party.

Ash Faulkner

The advocacy of increased pay for MPs usually comes hand in hand with reducing the number of them, which is something I don't agree with.

I don't know about this. I quite like the idea of full-time MPs (that might sort out our Shadow Cabinet...) but I think making MPs so much better off than the general population would just detach them further.

Ken Stevens

"... work full-time and undertake no other paid work.."

Nor sponsorship by or other representational activities for trade associations, trade unions and other pressure groups. That is incompatible with representation of his/her constituents.

"..Average pay for general practitioners in England is now £102,000. The MPs’ aspiration to be paid at such at level is entirely reasonable.."

Provided that they train for a similar period and to a similar professional level for the job!

Overall, on what basis is it argued that MPs should receive such a massive pay rise, when other public sector workers are held down?

MPs are increasingly irrelevant when 70% of legislation is handed down from Brussels.

Sort out our governance by retrieving sovereignty from EC and gaining home rule for England before asking me for more money!

Stephen Tolkinghorne

"Although the warders’ illegal strike this week cannot be condoned, I have some sympathy for their relatively modest pay demand."

Absolute rot. The prison officers are appallingly treated. Why should they not be able to go on strike when they're clearly being so outrageously betrayed.

They get paid a pittance, and they now have no effective protection against attack by the vermin whom they have to treat with kid-gloves, because the ability of prison governors to add time on to prisoners' sentences for attacking prison officers, has been deemed to be against the prisoners' 'Uman Rights (another gift to the criminal classes, courtesy of New Labour).

At least the prison officers union are offering some opposition to the current traitors in Downing Street - far more than the Tories have managed in over a decade.

As for giving MPs more money - nonsense ! They're paid too much as it is. We seem to have a direct cause-and-effect in recent years: the more we pay MPs (and the more generous their massive pensions get), the worse they become.

I'm not keen on the idea of having MPs spending even more time of looking at ways of undermining Britain. They do a good enough job at that as part-time MPs.

Lindsay Jenkins

Tony Makara is spot on.

Emphasis on politics as a career means that many MPs and candidates have no serious track record. Some have even conspicuously failed outside party poltics.

Being an MP, legislating for one of the world's largest economies, and for some being part of its government, should require a high level of both intelligence and experience.

The Conservative Party must undertake a revolution in the way it chooses candidates. Voters would respond positively. Our democracy would be revived.

Yet Another Anon

Many MPs don't do much though, the House of Commons could do with being cut to a third it's current size - how many Civil Servants have a guaranteed job for the full length of a term sometimes as long as 5 years between reviews; one thing that could be done is to make some more Shadow Cabinet positions statutory and have a supplement for them and have salaried positions on the Select Committees.


Rather than just increasing MP's basic salaries (which I am unconvinced about, as outside interests can in some cases lead to more rounded individuals whereas those without any outside interests can be the worst kind of political fanatics), Parliament should really look at increasing their staffing allowance, as many Researchers, Caseworkers, Parliamentary assistants etc. are paid abysmally small amounts - one only has to look at the job page on the w4mp website to see this is clearly the case!

Paul Oakley

Several tricky issues combine here but it's not clear that a pay hike for MPs is the answer to any of them.

First, Ken is correct to highlight the EU angle. However, when we leave that body do we really want to replicate its legislative incontinence at home? Labour has spent the last 10 years spewing out a mass of legislation but the UK is not a happier place as a result. Under the next Tory government MPs should have a high workload (for the first year or two) but only to repeal, repeal, repeal.

Secondly, to refer to the high salaries of inessential public sector workers is no argument and legitimises the waste of money on non-jobs. As we teeter on the edge of a recession it will be interesting to see how many diversity officers and outreach workers survive in their posts.

Thirdly, How is a prohibition on outside interests to be enforced? Will it extend to the fees for media articles and appearances or authorship of books? If so, public debate will be the loser.

Mountjoy (The Wilted Rose)

Yes, and reduce the number of constituencies to about 400-450. This would address the electoral bias which gives Labour 90 or so more seats on an equal share of the vote. And the problem of Labour seats having smaller electorates than Tory seats.

For example, the parliamentary seat of Darlington would have its Borough's rural wards added, plus the Borough of Teesdale, which would make it notionally Conservative. Currently, it is a rock-solid Labour seat.

Henry Mayhew

Being an MP should ideally be an aspiration for someone who has achieved success outside of the public sector. Although one can see that £60k is not a realistic full-time wage for an intelligent and committed person, it shouldn't be in the case of MPs. In an age of Brussels and human rights legislation the role of an MP is tiny - it should be a calling or part-time job at most. After all, it isn't really a job but a representative position.

Ministers on the other hand should be well-paid. They do have a huge workload and immense responsibilities and pressures.


If we ban MPs from having outside earnings, then to compensate for the loss of outside knowledge and experience we should also raise the minimum age to be an MP to 30, or higher. (In Ancient Athens, the age of majority was 30).

This will ensure that they have some experience of the outside world before entering Parliament, and cannot simply move from student politics to real politics.


You are having a laugh aren't you? As far as I can gather MP's are almost unique in seeking to get paid more for less, for while they are doing their damndest to unload their responsibilities on the EU, they are at the same time fattening up their wages, terms and conditions and pensions. I heard a figure which stated that 70% of all laws coming through Parliament come from Brussels, if true that would suggest that rather than in line for a salary increase, MP's, with their reduced responsibility should be staring at a 70% pay cut.

Perhaps if we paid MP's according to responsibility, there would be no more EU treaty's, no more opt outs given up, and most probably for the first time in 40 years we would see the repatriation of Soverignty from the EU.

Donal Blaney

Caim makes the best point: increase parliamentary staff allowances (with safeguards to prevent funds being funnelled to spouses and then back into the MPs' pockets in that way) AND provide for select and standing committees to be properly staffed. With the power of the Executive in Britain, we need to ensure the Legislature provides due scrutiny which, at present, it does not. Contrast this with the power of the US Congress.

There is no need whatsoever to increase the pay of MPs. And as another person on here said - many failed at previous jobs. Surely we want more people to stand who have been successful in other careers first rather than encouraging yet more identikit career politicians?



So is paying MPs less going to make it a more attractive job to people who have been successful in other fields? By definition, you are therefore expecting them to take a pay cut to become an MP?

Personally, I think it's ridiculous that the Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the fourth wealthiest country on Earth with a permanent seat on the Security Council and a major player on the World Stage, gets paid less than the Chief Executive of Kent County Council!!!

Yet Another Anon

>>>>>the fourth wealthiest country on Earth<<<<<
UK is about the 14th wealthiest per capita, in terms of size of economy it is the 6th largest economy behind USA, Japan, Germany, China and India.

Donal Blaney

James: where did I say MPs should be paid LESS than they are paid now. Your logic seems to suggest, on the other hand, that they should be paid BY THE TAXPAYER what they were paid before they entered parliament. That is an absurd notion. The line has to be drawn somewhere. Cameron Watt wants that line drawn at £100k. I favour keeping MPs' pay where it is but instead increasing their staffing allowances markedly so they have a team of people who can help them.

Graham Smith

Totally disagree with the idea of full-time MPs, principally because that hands far too much power to political parties.

See the late Quentin Hogg's excellent treatise on the Elected Dictatorship for a more detailed explanation of why elected members should continue to live and work in the real world.

The Huntsman

Turkey of the Week

Let’s pay MPs £100K – for working full-time

“MPs are subject to a high degree of public derision and opprobrium, but in their jobs they undoubtedly carry a work-load and weight of responsibility which at least equals that of a family doctor”.

Family doctors, after training for seven years, bear the responsibility of making the right decisions that help save or prolong life. Many work longer and more anti-social hours than MPs.

The work load of MPs has actually diminished in responsibility as the EU has accreted more power to itself and if they are stupid enough to ratify the Constitutional Treaty Mark II, will have vastly less responsibility than before so doing. They will have not much more legislative power than a local councillor.

“The quid pro quo for paying MPs realistic salaries should be an insistence that they work full-time and undertake no other paid work”

One of the reasons this Labour Government is so bloody awful is that, apart from Alan Johnson’s well known work as Postman Pat, none of the rest of the Cabinet has had a real job outside of Parliament & Politics (and shoving letters through a small hole in lots of doors is hardly a great giver of experience). We need an enlarged elite class of professional politicians like a hole in the head. Cutting them yet further off from the real world (and there are many who think, given some of their pronouncements that they live on Planet Zog anyway) would damage yet further their already tenuous relationship as a class with the world of real people with real problems.

“Outside interests can help MPs bring new skills and interests to parliament, but these can be equally well acquired through cultivating a ‘hinterland’ or volunteering as through paid work”

How do you get experience of, say, how a decent-sized company works by ‘volunteering’?

“…..but I reckon that would be a price worth paying to secure the undivided time and commitment of MPs.”

Some of our more cynical Citizens might think that having more of their undivided time and commitment might just get us into an even bigger mess than we are already in.

“The salary increases would cost several tens of millions of pounds to implement. I am sure the Taxpayers’ Alliance could advise on which one or two quangos could be wound-up to pay for it.”

How about NOT spending an extra £26+ million plus pension increases AND wind up as many quangos with their Labour Placemen as possible?

And while we are at it, let us make MPs and Peers put full details of their expenses online like the Scottish Parliament does for MSPs. I bet we could save some serious money that way.

Jacking up MPs salaries (with commensurate rises in their already gold-plated pension arrangements which they periodically vote themselves) will get 659 odd votes, I have no doubt, but will be as popular with the Taxpayer as having a pair of angry ferrets down the trousers.

Given human nature we shall also find that, like the 'amateur' rugby players of the past, MPs will find all sorts of (almost certainly corrupt) ways of supplementing that income. And do we really want to eliminate from parliament anyone who is earning more than £100k pa, because such people will not exactly fall over themselves to take a pay cut just to go out on the stump and run Constituency surgeries and the like?

File under 'ideas, dotty'


Don't pay MPs a penny.

Paying them nothing would mean that they have to have jobs or other interests which stop them from spending so much time legislating. The less time an MP spends making law the better. This would obviously mean less law therefore red tape and therefore only very necessary laws would be made rather than frivolous. This culture of only "necessary action" might even permeate to cabinet ministers hopefully meaning government does less, therefore intereferes less and taxes less.

Or they would have to have made money and would therefore have achieved something and hopefully know something about the world, business & economics. Having MPs that have been successful entrepreneurs bringing genuine business and start up experience would be hugely beneficial.

Or, wealthy individuals or associations would bankroll meritorious individuals who they think would be good. This would remove some power from the party machine which can only be a good thing. Of course there would be pressure to do what your "backers" wanted - however if these actions were ridiculous it would simply mean you would not be re-elected, meaning there would be a degree of moderation and self regulation.

If MP's were paid nothing you would still have hundreds of people jumping to get on the list.


Paying MPs a £100k is ludicrous. Why £100k? It is still less than a moderately successful partner at a small law firm or small business owner makes in a year. Are such people going to take a pay cut to earn £100k as an MP with the lack of job security and media intrusion?
They won't do it for the 60k now so why would they do it for 100k? Do you even want such people in parliament. Do we want a parliament full of "moderately successful" people? I don't. I would much rather a parliament of brilliant individuals.

At the moment there are lot of MPs who would never even have made partner at a small law firm for instance. A lot of mediocrity.

John Leonard

I'm sorry Cameron your argument is completely ludicrous. To me your living in the 'Westminster Bubble' fantasy world.

Before anyone should think about giving our 'hard pressed MP's' any pay rise the parliamentary system needs to be overhauled (not as suggested by Brown and Clarke, just by tweaking it in Parliament's favour) and the following needs to be addressed.

1) Repatriation of powers from the EU
2) Proper resolution of the under representation of English based voters at a national level as a result of devolution (not just EVEL)
3) Mandatory selection criteria for PPC's based on skills, knowledge, professional accreditation and experience (therefore excluding party apparatchiks, opportunists and hangers on). Just think Blair may never have made it.
4) Clear roles responsibilities and accountabilities for MP's.
5) Introduce a powerful non political independent body to monitor the behaviour of MP's and manage their terms and conditions and pay.
6) Introduce a method for the public to suspend/deselect an MP for gross misconduct. If MP's know they can be sacked for poor performance perhaps they will not be so cavalier in the way they act or vote.
7) Introduce a pay scale based on number of years an MP is in parliament.
8) A public approval process to review the many expenses budget MP's dip into (some seemingly at a whim).
9) Linking pay to performance targets based on managing the public purse and providing satisfactory/ improved public services (e.g. Lower taxes plus improved public service performance=pay rise).
10) Strict limitations on the powers of party whips.
11) Mandatory requirement to vote on all legislation.
12) Mandatory appearance at constituency open sessions at least twice a year.

I could go on......

I do not think for a moment that some of these will ever be introduced but in the private sector that is what people face every day of their working life. MP's get it easy. They only have to worry about their jobs every four or five years

Other observations:

At the moment MP's are employed (as PPC's) and work for their political parties first and the taxpayer second, yet they are paid by the taxpayer. Logically, if MP's want a pay rise let the political parties pay for it.

Secondly, the vast majority of employees who earn 60k+ have as part of their accountabilities considerable financial responsibilites to their employer. They get the high salaries for that financial responsibility. What financial responsibilities in running the country do back bench MP's have (especially ones in opposition)?

In these days of inflation capped pay rises, I'm sure that nurses and prison officers will fully support the concept that MP's should get a 66% pay rise!

I hardly think that parliament's performance over recent years deserves any praise. All we have to think of is Iraq, Pension raids, personal debt, education, health, violent crime,student loans, HIPS, ID Cards, the EU, the WLQ etc. etc. to see that. Of course you might point out that it is the Governments doing.

Indeed, it is but what have ordinary MP's been able to do about it - virtually nothing. The media is more effective these days. MP's really deserve a pay rise don't they!!!!!

This is just another example of ridiculous self-serving parliamentary behaviour!

It is strange that those who run our country do not have pay parity with the public and private sector. However, that is because they do not have the responsibility or accountability that these other groups have.

They seem to forget they are working for the public. It's about time they started producing the required results!

David Belchamber

"The quid pro quo for paying MPs realistic salaries should be an insistence that they work full-time and undertake no other paid work".

The only point I would make is that we have too few MPs already who have had experience of business, the armed forces or any other operation that needs large scale organisation.

Blair's incompetence (and Brown's as well) demonstrates this point. For instance, have any current Labour MPs actually served in the armed forces? Desmond Swayne and Dr Andrew Murison, and perhaps others, have served in Iraq, while others have been career soldiers.

People have accused some current tory MPs of being part-time but the other side of that coin is that some of them at least will be in jobs that give them valuable experience of management.

Victor, NW Kent

There are far too many MPs. About one per 250,000 registered voters would be right. That would free up a good sum for redistribution. Then pay the 400 or so that remain a basic salary of £40,000 with the possibility to earn up to another £80,000 based on attendance and voting in debates. Obviously Ministers would have to be treated differently as they have daily executive responsibilities.

Reducing the number might improve the quality as more talent will chase fewer positions. Many current MPs, even Ministers and Shadow Ministers are not very intelligent and cannot go beyond spouting the party line of the moment.

Quite a lot of MPs are just passing the time away and seldom attend the House at all. George Galloway is one such, and the IRA members never attend at all but still receive various types of remuneration.

Whether they earn more or less than doctors or firemen is pretty irrelevant. None of us earn as much as footballers or pop stars.

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