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Comments

malcolm

No, no a thousand times no. The gulf between the electorate and our political elite has never been wider. Contempt for politicians and the political process has never been higher.
Do you really think that by giving MPs a massive rise at the same time as urging pay restraint on other public sector employees the outcome would be anything other than politically disastrous.
I simply do not believe that we would attract better people by paying more money. There is a huge surfeit of people wishing to be MPs if we are to follow market principles we should be paying them (much) less.

Teck

Tony Makara, Lindsay Jenkins and Donal Blaney all made valid comments, but it cannot be denied that MPs come from candidates selected in the main by local associations (in our Party at least, excluding those parachuted in) whose selection panelists' preferences seem to centre on a candidate's length of immersion in politics and localism, with real-life experience and perspicacious intellect given less importance.

Now we even have positive discrimination based on sex and fanfare for diversity's sake.

So, how do excellent guys with critically important experience and logical-thinking prowess living and working in no-hoper districts get to become MPs and contribute to politics?

Erasmus

Cameron -- a great article, you are absolutely right. Given the bitter and twisted types who spend so much time hanging around comment sections, I'm not surprised that there are so many posts saying MPs are rubbish. Actually, most of them are incredibly committed -- and do much more work than most people give them credit for. However, I do like the suggestion of a basic salary that can be topped up by taking on additional parliamentary responsibilities -- however this means creating a proper system of scrutiny committees etc not the largely toothless arrangements we have now.

Richard

If MPs are to be paid as 'middle-class professionals', will they also be taxed as such?

If my employer paid me a second home allowance, it would be taxed as a benefit in kind, as would use of the company jet to take my family on holiday. If I claimed for the purchase of iPods as a business expense, I'd be prosecuted.

Matt Wardman

Sorry Cameron.

This is fantastical guff.

A "basic" salary of £60,000 places MPs in (I think) the top 5-10% nationally, even without all the perks and backhanders. That is more than enough.

The correct solution is to reduce GP income to the same as their peers in other countries (US Doctors are jealous, for example), rather than bloat other groups incomes to the same extent.

Steve Folan

MPs are not at the level of GPs but should be pitched at lower managerial civil servants. Tie any rise to the wages of nurses to encourage MPs to focus on people who who do deliver results and make a difference.

They already have their work on the side and if they cannot live on £60,000 grand a year then let them stand aside and let someone else do the job. That way we will get fewer 'lifers' in the commons and a refresh that relects the population.

GT

Why not pay a fixed amount to cover all expenses and an MP's salary. No additional amounts. So staff, postage, travel and living and pension contributions must be paid from it. Each MP could determine the mix they want.
If the number of MPs dropped to say 400, then a payment of £200K- £250K would be appropriate and the total bill to the tax-payer would fall.
There would be immediate savings in the fees office administration costs as well.

There should also be far fewer ministers.

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