Sunday, 13 September 2009

David Mitchell on MPs salaries

From the Graun:-

The expenses scandal demonstrated three things: first, that British politicians can be dishonest, albeit in a petty way that genuinely corrupt political cultures would find quaint; second, that they can be idiotic, either in their stubborn refusal to concede that there were any irregularities or their spineless acceptance of every criticism hurled; third, that they weren't paid enough either to stop them ferreting for perks or to preclude the aforementioned morons infiltrating their number.

Some of the MPs who did things were quite wealthy, actually. And they knew what the salary was before they stood for the job.

Steve Punt did a bit of salary research for Radio 4's The Now Show and takes a different view: "Another way of looking at it is that they do a rather thankless and time-consuming job under relentless public criticism and yet they're paid less than the head of estate capacity procurement at the Ministry of Justice or the head of consumer services at Calderdale Council.

Which might just tell you that those jobs are overpaid, too.

The fact is that most people I know in the private sector who earn what MPs do have much, much more responsibility. They're typically running a team of 100+ people, or running a highly specialised function. Most MPs have what responsibility? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. As someone pointed out this morning, they can get sworn in as an MP and then go home for 4 years and never do a day's work. They can ignore every letter from their constituents and claim a generous pension at the end of it.

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