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I agree - he's another seat-blocker.

I disagree that he should resign but do think £100k for a job that should be a honour and a privelage to do is not on. If people don't come into politics because the money isn't good enough then they aren't wanted in politics. Simple.

I have no problem with this, but then scrap the £100k+ in allowances that they claim, which are clearly not purely expenditure entirely caused by their jobs. Not to mention the outrageous recent £20k propaganda budget voted for because MPs were illegally abusing their allowances to send out party political propaganda.

"Over the years, we have been downgraded and compared to junior directors of middle-sized companies"
If our MPs performed as well as junior directors in the private sector we might do better. Many seem only interested in getting re-elected.
Tell me again - how much do MPs receive when their wive's salaries and expenses are included?

sorry about the rogue apostrophe!

I do not think that JB should necessarily resign, David Walker. I do not know enough about him to be enthusiastic about his time in parliament or, indeed, disappointed. My suggestion is simply that the public would rather we pay the existing salary to others more enthusiastic if the price of keeping JB and his other open mouthed colleagues is an extra £40,000pa.

Judging by the photo, Sir John Butterball is adequately fed.

Has he ever been a minister, and increased his salary accordingly? Does he have outside interests, non-exec directorships? I think we should be told.

...we were on a par with GPs and heads of comprehensive schools. They are now on £100,000.

The problem with that comparison is that GPs are now massively overpaid.

I hope that his Association deal with him in the right way. He has probably already been re-selected but they should look at the rule book. If the pay is not enough, time he moved on and allowed a keener person do the job.

On top of the £60k MPs also get the housing allowance £20k etc. They then benefit from "two houses" capital appreciation, one of which is funded by the tax payer.

This chap is 65 years old and since 1992 his majority has declined in each election from 12,000 to 4,000. It clearly needs a more active MP who can build it back up.

" Has spoken in 11 debates in the last year — well below average amongst MPs.
Has received answers to 4 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs."

11 statements and 4 letters in a year...!

Over the years I've met a number of MPs.The majority are both intelligent and fairly worldly wise. The vast majority however have represented marginal seats and have much more sense than to make the sort of case that John Butterfill has. Really one has to ask what sort of world he thinks he lives in. I suspect that like the commentators above he will now have a large amount of opprobrium thrust on his head. He may be brave to have gone public with his thoughts on MPs pay but must also be incredibly stupid. With their expenses and absurdly generous pension arrangements I cannot think of another group of people who are less deserving of such a huge pay rise.
The fact that this has come from a Conservative MP after the furore caused by 'three jobs Bob' in Bromley is outrageous.

Perhaps Sir John would like to tell us how many junior directors have knighthoods?

Perhaps he should become a Euro-MP? :-)

Please remind me: how many terms do you have to do to get the pension? Is it a 100% of annual salary pension?

Given the hours they work, £60,000 is a rubbish salary for MPs. However, the generous pensions may make up for that, which is why it would be useful to know what they are.

In fairness to John Butterfill, speaking in debates and tabling questions are not the only thing an MP can do. And as much as I love Parliament and believe in democracy, you can argue that debates in the chamber are usually fairly pointless given how hard MPs are whipped.

Mps should buy their own Money Purchase Pensions and drop the taxpayer-fundedone in return for a salary increase and lose 8 weeks paid vacation each year

I did some digging around on the Parliament website yesterday after this story emerged. I was trying to see if Parliament had the equivalent of a bursar or finance director. The answer appears to be no. There does not appear to be any accounts either.

It would be quite easy to manage these rogues if there was simply a fixed budget for Parliament that went up with inflation every year. They could then work out for themselves whether they wanted more allowances or more pay. They might even decide to relocate up north to save money.

Right now it appears that they just grab as much as they like from the pot whether it is allowances, pensions or pay. I know Parliament is sovereign but there should be checks and balances.

Parliament should have a fixed budget that can only be changed by primary legislation so that it is transparent when they are trying to grab more.

This column says much about the state of the Conservative Party. It sounds like 70s Labour. We do not want mendicant monks or anoraks working as MPs nor do we want fat cats buying the status as a private income is required to do the job - that's what the Lords is for. Nor do we want stupid people for whom the job is the best income they are likely to get. Realistically as far as Conservative MPs are concerned, we want bright graduates capable of thinking on their feet. That means we need to compensate them for loss of earnings in the private sector. Yes the knighthood and the pension are nice (and if the pension and expenses are a ramp then it should be altered) but you have to eat and live in Central London until you get them.

Those people above, dribbling with jealousy as they write, who would do the job for free, just for the power and the status, should be kept out of the Commons with cattle prods.

MP's have been getting big pay rises, I don't think giving them huge pay rises is a priority over other things, now giving British military personnel a 66% pay rise and big rises for police and the Fire Service certainly would be justified. Especially until the puboic finances return into the black MP's and ministers should get no more than a rise in line with average earnings at the most.


Did you read the letter in Telegraph or Times this morning from mthe father of a soldier in Afghanistan whose salary is lower in Afghanistan than in Britain with deductions for food and accommodation ?

MP's should take another look at how much they pay their staff before making these sorts of comments.

Jonathan at 11:28 should think before he writes.

Bright graduates who can think on their feet are ten-a-penny. Their salaries start very low, even in London, especially in many "creative" industries. People who earn large salaries have often spent a very long time working very hard to achieve them and have risen through the ranks or gained specialist skills.

MPs have the same opportunity to rise through the ranks. Alternatively they can coast on twice the average London wage, enjoy good perks and the opportunity to pull in significant extra income. As an entry level package it is pretty awesome.

It is not so much the salary level that does your heads in, it is the lack of accountability and obvious controls. Where is the evidence that they are making hard choices about whether to have more salary or more support staff? Where is the budget that most of the rest of us in both public and private sectors have to work to?

'There are plenty of other - more enthusiastic - Conservatives ready to fill his boots in return for his 'junior director' salary.'

And there's the actual point. Pay is set (rather, should be set) by supply and demand. We have places for some 640 MPs. We have many thousands who are willing to do the job, as every election and selection meeting shows.

MP's pay should therefore be coming down, not going up.

I concur with the Editor, who says that if the pay is not enough, he can always find better paid employment elsewhere. If he can't then on what basis does he make his complaint.

That is the way the market works after all.

Parliament is the last unreformed Edwardian club left in the country and this kind of nonsense illustrates it. The door to the Commons should have a board above it saying "Accountable to None".

It is almost enough to make one wish for a republic and a dictator. MPs should not be allowed to vote themselves a salary.. Increases should be stricly in line with the Government's own CPI

Sir John B was very enthusiastic about the increases in MPs pensions that were put into place in 2004. I wrote to him, as an Association Chairman, protesting about the image this projected of greedy Tories, as well as being completely unjustified.

He never bothered to reply.

There are some decent MPs who don't make a grab for everything going - mine is one of them, but they get tarred with the same brush.

John Butterfill's majority is at its lowest level ever. Perhaps he is worried that the Lib Dems will oust him next time and needs to build up a nest egg. His constituents will not be impressed by this latest initiative. Mr Butterfill has shot himself in the foot.

This is a difficult question, in my opinion MP's salaries do need to be reviewed but to have MPs themselves pushing for it looks astoundingly bad.

Like it or not £60,000 is not going to attract the best candidates, a look on any job website will indicate that a sales person with 2 years experience could expect to earn that much in many industries. I don't know what the answer is but to have MPs themselves begging for more money is certainly not it!

I must say, I agree with the poster who says that this thread sounds like 1970's socialists!

On, I hope, the safe assumption that posters believe in the market, M.P.'s salaries should be competitive vis a vis the sort of jobs one would like one's M.P.s to have held before entering parliament. For myself, I think that means, for example, doctors, lawyers, successful teachers, business men and women etc. The present salary represents a very significant pay cut for anyone falling into these categories of employment.

I know it sounds a cliche, but I would do their job for less than they are paid. What is wrong with doing a job for its own sake, hundreds of thousands of other people do. Or isn't it a privlege to be an MP? And I am not sure comparisons with lawyers and GPs etc makes sense. Plenty of lawyers earn less than what these MPs are on and so do teachers. And yes I know there are lawyers on hundreds of thousands. If the MPs want that sort of money then let them get out of parliament. And of course the expense package and allowance for a London is not inconsiderable. Nor should we forgot that these same MPs have far less responsibility than their predecessors since powers have been hived off to the EU and Scottish and Welsh assemblies.

Gold plated pensions and now gold plated salaries.
Doctors and Head Teachers actually do a job that is necessary and vital, MP's are just leeches, sucking the lifeblood out of this country. In any event, I am informed that the majority of legislation presented to Parliament these days, originates in Brussels/Strasbourg, and is a fait accompli, in that it is not subject to debate, but just nodded through by a bunch of donkeys.
Nodding donkeys come 2 a penny, ask any totalitarian leader....Barroso for one; restrict debate and flood your members with a welter of paperwork and then tell them to be good europeans.
MP's need to reconnect with the wider world and should think of the electorate not themselves. This sort of demand is a return to the bad old days of closed shops and the constant demand for differentials and pay parity.

George, maybe the reason most MPs are simply nodding donkeys is that we pay a wage that attracts nodding donkeys and not serious, talented people who have achieved something in their previous career?

I think we could all agree that the concept of MPs voting on their own salaries sticks in the craw - its about time there was an independent salary setting body. Apart from anything else it is bad politics to have our MPs heading calls for increased salaries.

At the same time, £60,000 is not a lot of money for the amount of effort that MPs put in - and, as the saying goes, if you pay peanuts you get monkeys. It certainly discourages some possible candidates and also encourages dependancy on the central party for the extra cash available with minsterial positions.

It would be interesting to see a good comparison between what our MPs recieve and what other governments pay their representatives - in both pay and allowances.

Should add that Bee's comments underline the need to end the ridiculous practice of MP's staffing allowance being classed as expenses...

I can't believe the vitriol this thread has generated!

Just consider my position for a second - I'm a GP on a very decent wage but, living in the London area, am mortgaged to the hilt to pay for an exceptionally modest terraced house. I'd love to be a Conservative MP and think I've got the sort of life skills the party needs. Because I don't have a 'trust fund', or a loaded partner I accept that persuing this avenue will be a significant financial strain. If I do succeed one day, it would be nice to think that I could match my current GP salary. I really don't think thats an unreasonable expectation.

The bottom line is this. If you didn't pay MPs a penny you could still fill the HoC ten time over. But would you want a political class totally dominated by the independently wealthy? Paying MPs a wage which more closely reflects their market value would doubtless enlarge the pool of talent available to the electorate.

There is certainly a lack of quality people acting the part of MPs but I would suggest that if their only motivation is money they should find a proper job, if capable that is. Far too many of them would not last two minutes in private industry. An MP is there to represent the people in Parliament for their benefit not his. If they do not like that responsability then "stand not upon your going",... but forget the pension!

Do MP's also get their travel to and from HoC paid in their travel allowance? I see this MP gets £4,000 pa worth a pay rise of £8,000.

Does his wife get any pay from him?

£60k pay + £20k housing + £8k travel + and then a very large pension as he has done 20 years = A reasonable reward.

I'm not so much bothered what they're paid to do this job on our behalf - I'm far more bothered that they're not actually doing the job they're supposed to do.

And I cannot believe posters who think money = intellect and ability. It certainly does not as I can confirm from my experience in law and finance.

And if MPs need a London pad in addition to a constituency home (and there are a lot of people in the private sector who could also benefit from that but they do not get the same perks), why not provide them with grace and favour appartments and if they do not like them they could do without.

why not provide them with grace and favour appartments and if they do not like them they could do without.

The second home should be subject to a clawback on sale - too many are making speculative property profits on homes bought with taxpayers money.

The German Bundestag has an apartment block behind the Reichstag building in Berlin where MdBs live...........they should have somewhere like Chelsea Barracks as MP housing

esbonio - of course money doesnt directly correlate with ability. But paying a wage which wouldn't force many to take a huge pay cut would at least widen the pool of available talent. Of course thats no absolute guarantee against picking weak candidates.

Just another thought - lots of these posts allude to the rather confusing array of expenses, allowances etc... The net result of this is a suspicion that MPs are trying to hide their true salaries. Surely a more transparent system of renumeration would be for the good of all?

Tom Tom at 15.29

I entirely agree withb you including the reference to the old barracks. I spent my entire childhood in forces accomodation and if it is good enough for the forces surely it would be good enough for our MPs.

Why don't you all just on strike, from the PM down and give the rest of some peace? Make it last a few years, won't you?

MPs - All out !!

Of course money doesn't = intellect and ability, but in the majority of cases you will find that those who have enough ability to be a good MP would be taking a wage cut if moving to a £60,000 job.

If we take the example of a GP who has a mortgage and family to support. Even if this candidate was passionate enough about politics to go for it, could he really justify the 40% reduction in salary to his wife and family?

£60,000 would get you a £180,000 to £260,000 mortgage which would barely buy a studio flat near Westminster and that is before you think about a constituency home. I know they have support for these kind of things but the idea of a grace and favour flat in London would make the whole package more attractive and stamp out the abuse which currently exists.


Yes - I've been doing exactly the calculation you outline! Its one thing to take a significant pay cut to do a job you love, but how acceptable is it to force a reduction in standard of living on your family?

A trick one!

If you agree with me that MPs and Parliament as a whole should have to contain their spending within limits rather than just being able to vote themselves any salary and perks that they like, you might like to sign the petition that I have started at the Number 10 e-petitions site.

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to fix the budget for Parliament and link it to inflation such that MP's salaries can only increase if they save money elsewhere.

Follow link.

£60,000 would get you a £180,000 to £260,000 mortgage

MPs get a £20.000 pa housing allowance and borrow on a higher multiple than mortals usually interest only and pay off the balloon when they remortgage or sell.............and £20.000 a year tax free covers a mortgage of £340.000 on interest-only

If two MPs share a house that could be £680.000 and if three share you are through the £1 million barrier............you can then always move out and sublet to a commercial tenant and start over again with another property.

I think some of our MPs are much more commercially savvy than people on this blog

I have no problem with £120,000 providing they have self employed ststus, then they would understand a lot more about pensions and their
approach to business and regulation would change dramatically.I am satisfiied that the expense allowance is on the whole well spent in enabling them to do their work.

£60,000 would get you a £180,000 to £260,000 mortgage which would barely buy a studio flat near Westminster and that is before you think about a constituency home. many allowances available
Move parliament somewhere such as Sheffield or Stoke-on-Trent which anyway is safer from rising sea levels as well as being more central in the UK - videoconferencing and remote voting could be used, there is no reason why people shouldn't be able to address the floor of the House of Commons over a videophone and for it to be made possible for MP's to vote at some secured location on House of Commons debates - might well be the way of the future, might be that one day parliament is a kind of video exchange with MP's accessing it remotely?

there is no reason why people shouldn't be able to address the floor of the House of Commons over a videophone and for it to be made possible for MP's to vote at some secured location on House of Commons debates
And in fact this would allow them more time to spend on their constituency.

There are certainly way too many MP's and far too many legislators generally in parliament - all that would be needed is maybe 200 MP's and if there is to be a 2nd chamber no more than a few hundred in there.

"Judging by the photo, Sir John Butterball is adequately fed"
True but isn't he just following Dave and Polly in being 'relatively poor'?

MPs are nothing more than unqualified social workers and should be paid accordingly.

A Tory MP recently suggested in private the 'barracks' idea - it apparently went down like a lead balloon.

Why?, well yes, a studio flat in a block run by the Palace of Westminster would be secure, properly maintained, concierge services available etc, but:

the objection was that there would be no 'privacy', nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

Since much of the work done by MPs is now done by the EC, the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly, and former British Empire countries now govern themselves, shouldn't the number of MPs be halved?

A reduction in demand for MPs should reduce financial expectations and expenses, and the cost of supporting staff.

Sorry, should read 'work formerly done'

here are certainly way too many MP's and far too many legislators generally in parliament - all that would be needed is maybe 200 MPs

Why doesn't Cameron cover his bases early and say he will not accept more than 200 Conservative MPs after the next election but demands that Labour too have that as a maximum potential number.............after all London could be made into one constituency now it has the GLA with say 10 MPs.............same for Scotland.

I totally agree with TFA guy - a first?

If all fairness to Sir John,

He was helping numerous blind organisations lobby parliament today for a higher rate of DLA and put them on par with people in wheelchairs etc...

He's been lobbying for this increase in social mobility allowance since 1992 and his efforts, along with his EDM (no.46) has provided a real opportunity for blind people - at last - to claim what they rightfully should.

Coming back on to the subject - I don't have a problem in a 66% rise in salary, none of the points above have convinced me and if it attracts a far better calibre of MP for years to come than that's something I welcome.

"if it attracts a far better calibre of MP for years to come than that's something I welcome"

Being an MP is hardly the only worthwhile job. Somebody who would be a good MP is a talented individual who would be likely to make an equally good headteacher or company director. If they become an MP it is a loss to teaching or commerce. Which is more important? I really don't know.

There is some economic nonsense going on from Butterfill and others. In a free market economy, people do not get what they are "worth" in some abstract sense. They get what supply and demand dictates and how unique people's skills are. The fact that a nurse earns less than an arms dealer is no indication of "worth".

MPs get nice perks like a pension and housing allowance and, above all, have what most would see as an interesting job. Butterfill obviously sees that as preferable to leaving the Commons and working in business or wherever. So what the hell is his problem?

Most MPs and realistic prospective MPs are reasonably capable individuals whether you agree with their politics or not. There are more talented people in the world but it may well be better that they apply their talents elsewhere. I am far from convinced that the quality of MPs individually is somehow sub-standard (leaving aside how the "system" works). I am also unconvinced that even a substantial increase is likely to significantly improve standards - what turns people on and puts people off politics is not primarily the remuneration (it is general interest and power on one side and shyness and dislike of intrusive scrutiny on the other).

This is a no-brainer. Put the decision in the hands of a totally independent salary review group who should look and see what MPs do and compare it with others and come to a conclusion. I suspect that such a truly independent review might well conclude they are underpaid. Still no doubt thats not really a story for the tabloids who prefer something more along the lines of, "scrounging liars overpay themselves again etc etc".

Put the decision in the hands of a totally independent salary review group who should look and see what MPs do and compare it with others and come to a conclusion.

As at present - The Review Body on Senior Salaries - what you are reading in the press are the Submissions by MPs to that body

Do MPs not realise how the ordinary voting public view them? Most people have a very low opinion of MPs and calls for 66% pay rises will not help.

My local MP is very good but I know scores of MPs that are useless and not worth the money they are currently paid.

All MPs do all day is put up taxes and increase regulation and now they want to spend even more of our money on themselves!

It should be a privilege and honour to sit in the Mother of all Parliaments. It is not a job nor is it something that one should go into for the money. I hope that David Cameron stops any MPs voting for this disgusting pay increase.

When our soldiers are fighting with inadequate resources, when our taxes are at the highest level ever, when our public services are in a terrible state and when our pensions are in such a mess it would be outrageous for MPs to vote themselves such lavish pay increases.

I would suggest that local associations ask their MPs some pretty searching questions on this and if their MPs still vote in for more money then the associations should get rid of them; after all it isn’t as if there is a shortage of people wanting to become MPs.

I spent most of last night trawling through theyworkforyou and was dismayed to see that a significant number of senior MPs had below average voting records, but perhaps more importanly poor were their response times to written requests. Editor, would it be possible to look at the possibility of ranking MPs performance and naming shaming the poor performers perhaps with a view to getting rid of the poorest performers and making way for new blood?

I want to know Polly Toynbee's view on this relative poverty of our MPS against their peers - are they being left behind as the caravan of GPs & headmasters travels to more comfortable oases? what can be done to close this gaping chasm?

MPs get nice perks like a pension and housing allowance
Also what other job normally guarantees about 4 years wages whether you work or not, many MP's work slavishly in all parties but some just hardly do anything at all especially a few in the safe seats, there is no other job I know of where if the person didn't turn up for work at all they would still go on getting paid - surely there could be some kind of minimum criteria required in terms of participation in debates and voting in the House of Commons that would still leave MP's essentially Independent of the Party Whips, ones failing to meet a basic minimum whether through idleness, stubborness or illness would lose their seats and be replaced, introduction of recall procedures would be desirable where a certain proportion of the population in a constituency or nationally could trigger an election in those areas.

Having compiled a spreadsheet of the information contained within theyworkforyou it was disappointing to learn that 15 of our MPs have voted in less than 50% of the votes in the House. even more disappointing was that this list contains Cameron, Maude, Fox, and Howard. I am also glad that I am not a constituent of Mark Pritchard as he has an appalling response percentage managing a pitiful 1% response within 2 weeks and a staggering 23% responses within 3 weeks. Interestingly his directorship in Pritchard Communications stands out.

Further analysis of the data determines that we have some slack attendance figures for votes. If we assume that a 70% voting record is acceptable then we currently have 96 Conservative MPs who are below this figure.

Some of the postings about Sir John Butterfill's voting record imply that he has a light workload. These do not take account of the fact that he is one of the most senior members of the Speaker's Panel of Chairmen and as such is not allowed to vote at any stage on the bills that he chairs. When this fact is taken into account, his voting record is one of the best. He is an effective Parliamentarian who has always worked hard for his constituents, whatever their political views.

I would happily be an MP for £30k a year. Paying MPs a median salary would soon separate those who do it because they want to represent their constituents from those who think it's a good career move.

For a Conservative MP to advocate a huge increase in salary is outrageous. There are far too many MPs for the reducing workload since Brussels makes all major (and most minor) legislation, leaving present House to meddle and change matters which worked well, sometimes for hundreds of years.
No salary increase shoud be considered without boundary extensions and headcount reductions.
The flawed Devolutions have increased the number of people telling us what we must and must not do to over 1000, and devolved areas should have merely a token Westminster representation.

Thanks for sharing

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