Are we really giving them more money?

December 13, 2013 10:00 am

MPs and money. It’s always been a controversial topic within British politics. First it was the expenses scandal, now they are set to receive an 11% wage increase for…doing what exactly?  If you look back over the  Cameron administration it is difficult to find much worth praising our MPS over; the state of the economy, the job losses, threats of redundancy, the cuts to spending, the closing of afterschool clubs. All of these things are products of the government’s attempts to rescue our broken economy. So why are our MPS receiving more money when the majority of people in Britain are faced with the opposite?

Only in Britain could incompetency and inadequacy be rewarded with a pay rise. Our economy is still not in very good shape, so we certainly shouldn’t be spending money on MPs, we should be spending it where it needs to be spent so fewer people have to struggle to feed themselves and their families. The IPSA was set up after the MPs expenses scandal to control MPs finances. The proposed increase came as a result of many MPs feeling they were underpaid. Underpaid how? Surely £65,000 a year is more than enough when the average person in Britain earns less than half of that? As an independent body, it was thought the IPSA s as it was thought would be better trusted with MPs finances than MPs themselves. It is difficult to ignore the irony here.

Surprisingly, all three party leader agree that a pay rise is simply unacceptable, with Cameron recently saying that he is considering moneyforcing the IPSA to drop the proposed changes, or even potentially scrapping the agency altogether. If all other public sector worker par rises are capped at 1% then MPs should comply with this. It would appear that no one is in support of the pay rise apart from the IPSA themselves, who argue that MPs shouldn’t have to make unnecessary sacrifices if they are elected to office, and this is part of the justification for the increase. The IPSA are also saying that the increase won’t be a financial burden on taxpayers, that it will be paid for through cuts to MPs expenses such as their evening meal allowance, and changes to their pensions. However for many people I don’t think it’s this that is of main concern. It is the principle of MPs getting increased wages, when most people are facing pay cuts or freezes.

If the increase goes ahead it will be interesting to see how MPs react, particularly MPs who represent more deprived areas of Britain. If they are seen to accept the increase, there will be constituents all over the country in uproar. However, as with most people, it will be difficult for MPs to turn down a pay rise. It is difficult to imagine anyone saying no to an extra £7,000 a year. But even if MPs wanted to turn down the cash, the IPSA is an independent body and MPs gave away their right to vote on its decisions, so anything the IPSA decides will be made straight into law. Let’s just hope that the IPSA comes to its senses and changes its plans before it is too late

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