December 12th, 2013

IPSA’s Imaginary Pay Problem

Writing in The Times this morning, IPSA’s Sir Ian Kennedy is adamant

ipsaWe will announce a one-off pay rise. Thereafter MPs’ pay will move with the pay of the rest of us. That’s a sensible way forward, which we will implement after a further review of conditions in 2015.

I know there is a tension between the reasoning and the politics but we were asked to fix the problem for a generation, not for a news cycle. That is what we have done. The alternative approach takes us back to the days of political deals, with scandal never far away. I can’t believe anyone seriously believes that is the way forward.

Of all the problems in politics, the problem of underpaid MPs is not one that Guido or the voters have noticed. MPs are paid a handsome £66,396, plus another £14,728 if they chair one of the 39 select committees. If they make it to Cabinet, the pay goes up to £134,565 — more than doubling their salary. They are paid a basic salary that puts them in the top income decile. For this, as Gordon Brown shows, they have to do nothing. They also get another £20,100 towards accommodation expenses. Hundreds of them are paid more as ministers or for having extra responsibilities – chairing committees. The average MP costs taxpayers over £100,000 in pay and personal expenses.

It is little acknowledged by IPSA that since 2000 MPs’ earnings have outstripped the consumer price index and since the 1980s their earnings have risen from double the average to the triple figure that they enjoy today. Although politicians are professionally skilled in advancing an argument, they will find it impossible to convince the public that they have gone from being worth twice the average wage to being three times as much. There is no lack of applicants for MPs’ jobs. There is no pay problem.


  1. 1
    Kebab Time says:

    If they dont like the pay then they can fox trot oscar!

  2. 2
    A Voter says:

    I agree.

  3. 3
    Steve Miliband says:

    How many have outside jobs? Lawyers, Journalists, authors, Non Executives etc etc. If you stopped those then they would have a case, can’t have it both ways.

  4. 4
    Farmer Giles. says:

    Piggies in the trough, business as usual. Roll on the next GE, mass culling is required.

  5. 5
    The Public says:

    I suspect the problem lies with people in IPSA itself aspiring to being overpaid. If MPs aren’t on a mighty whack, how will the senior managers at IPSA justify being paid for their own luxury lifestyles

  6. 6
    Dimmy Dave's Roma apocalypse says:

    But our MPs do such a good job of implementing the EU’s laws.

  7. 7
    Keith Robinson says:

    The report covers more than pay. It adds nothing to the cost to the tax payer. It starts the ball rolling to ensure MPs produce an annual report outlining what they have done in the past year; a first and important step towards accountability.
    This albeit small step to accountability could lead to MPs requiring degree level education and the elimination of paid outside work or a pro rata reduction in their salary.
    Improving the shambles we are faced with is essential and this report is a better start than none. The number of MPs would have been reduced but for the playground antics of school boy Clegg

  8. 8
    Glyn H says:

    The last thing we need is more ‘professional’ politicians. The quality of MP’s was way higher when practising lawyers and the like were also MPs. Labour deliberately sought to wreck that by these daft 9/5 hours. You should never be an MP if dependant on the salary. Makes you a tool of the executive. Make your career first, then seek to be elected!

  9. 9
    Raving Loon says:

    Cut # of MP’s to ~ 400 and # of Lords to ~100

  10. 10
    Democracy Now says:

    If you believe that crap you really are an insider’s insider. The constituency boundaries have been gerrymandered to provide an in-built incumbent advantage. The disparities provide differences in constituency sizes of a ratio of 1 to 5.

    There will be no accountability until we have equal sized constituencies, postal votes are banned and we operate free and fair elections based on One Man One Vote.

  11. 11
    Maccer says:

    Is Hillary Ckinton chindesE?

  12. 12
    Dimmy Dave's Roma apocalypse says:

    A couple of years ago someone who’d just started work as a teacher was interviewed on a picket line where he was striking over low pay. What a cock. Did he not check what the wage would be before applying for the job?

    Same with MPs. And furthermore, for what they’ve done to this county – and what they continue to do to it – they should count themselves lucky they’re not dangling from lampposts.

  13. 13
    Dimmy Dave's Roma apocalypse says:

    Our 650 MPs should be halved.

    And then quartered.

  14. 14 says:

    Can someone reconcile this with me…..

    Labour say that Winter Fuel payments should not be paid to “rich” pensioners.
    Labour say that Childcare should be paid to “rich” parents.


  15. 15

    Pay for MP’s was first brought in so that horny-handed sons of toil would be supported in their Parliamentary duties. Many of those MP’s with independent means or careers outside Parliament refused to take the offered salary. Looking at Labour’s ranks today, the worker turned politician is nowhere to be seen at least on the Front Bench, and is a rarity in their ranks.

  16. 16
    jgu657 says:

    Do the troughing Ipsa scum have shares in Pianowire manufacturers?

  17. 17
    jgu657 says:

    Who exactly are these IPSA managers? Let’s have names!

  18. 18
    (Not so)Dangerous Brian says:

    Easy, Labour are a duplicitous bunch of self serving hypocritical t**ts.
    Mind you, so are the so called Tories and the Lib Dums.

  19. 19
    Country Lad says:

    Kennedy has form. He set up the useless Healthcare Commission which oversaw North Staffordshire. He is a Labour apparatchik, and we should not be surprised that he is pandering to yet more unnecessary pay demands.

  20. 20
    John Tandy says:

    The head if IPSA earns more than the PM himself at £850 a DAY

  21. 21

    It is my considered opinion that MPs should have their salaries quadrupled. Yes, I know this will not be popular but it is the right thing to do.

    One week later, they should all be sacked without compensation. That way it hurts more.

  22. 22
    Dipsy says:

    Proportional pay with no bonuses or perks. Turn up 1 day each year receive 1/365 of annual renumeration. That’s the fairest way – then we look at hourly attendance and record books.

    Just look at the empty Commons rooms and the echoing Spearers’ holiday camp. Not exactly populated or productive.

  23. 23
    Anonymous says:

    Basically give us 11% or we’ll just steal it

  24. 24
    Danny goes Bonkers says:

  25. 25
    Anon says:

    What other job offers such a massive salary and doesn’t require any qualifications, training or experience of any sort?

  26. 26
    The new Messiah says:

    The answer is simple. Link their pay to the cost of living. If the cost goes up their pay goes down (in real terms). If the cost goes down then they can have an increase. It is the capitalist system in action. Rewards for results.

  27. 27
    Balls is Right? says:

  28. 28
    JH3-094-03294-320 says:

    Branchflower, you are just a Brown-appointed drone.

    Fuck off and screw up your own country.

  29. 29
    I've an idea says:

    Scrap IPSA.
    It has failed.

  30. 30
    Chinky Davey says:

    Mr Guido, this is quite possibly the most powerful and decent thing you have ever posted on this blog. I would urge you to repeat these sentiments in your newspaper column this weekend. It is high time these scum bastards felt the real power of public opinion. If they get away with this blatant robbery then they deserve to be assassinated by a baying mob.

    Get your powerful media backers to start a proper campaign to get any of the expense cheat MP’s still sitting ousted and prosecuted, name them every day. Hound these scum fucker until they do the decent thing and top themselves or failing that resign.

  31. 31
    It's all Balls says:

    There are so many committees, Jollies, Fact Findings, tax free expenses, non contributory pensions, resettlements and so on available that if compared to the real world they would have to be on at least 250 k to equal what they receive in parliament.

    Who else has a secure job for 5 years and a pension plus resettlement grants for life at the end of it?

  32. 32
    Genghiz the kahn says:

    Up to 55737 signatures against that pay rise for MPs.

    If you feel like pushing it over 100K then do so.

  33. 33
    bergen says:

    Disagree. Much of the problem is that modern polticians have never held an outside job (and I don’t include SPAD, researcher and other party dross). I’d even consider supporting the pay rise if it was limited purely to MPs who had worked outside politics for (say) ten years before entering the HoC if it helped to raise the quality of MPs.

  34. 34
    Tell it like it is... says:

    And no professional qualification is required to become an MP…all they are required to have is some form of personality disorder or some type of sexual deviancy.

  35. 35
    Maccer says:–-label-can-hurt-ed-more-dave

    Margaret Thatcher won all the domestic battles but she was wrong about South Africa


  36. 36
    Tom Catesby. says:

    Running banks?

  37. 37
    Non de plume says:

    It’s what the do in France…

  38. 38
    Nom de plume says:

    Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, IPSA Chair
    Sir Neil Butterfield, Board Member
    Elizabeth Padmore, Board Member
    Anne Whitaker, Board Member
    Professor Tony Wright, Board Member
    Andrew McDonald, Chief Executive

  39. 39
    Wat Tyler says:

    …and hung and drawn before hand.

  40. 40
    Quiet Bat Person says:

    MP’s pay should be performance-related.

    That would reduce their pay to £0 at a stroke.

  41. 41
    Tom Catesby. says:

    Hung, drawn and quartered.

  42. 42
    M says:

    Both would be an advantage as it would be considered “multi skilled”

  43. 43
    Heather Brooke says:

    That’s what the MPs wanted all along so they can hide their troughing in a multitude of ways.

    What better way is there to nobble a public body than to fill it with incompetents?

  44. 44
    Tom Catesby. says:

    Your typical ‘professional classes’ and multiculti,metropolitan,new labour voters. Will need to pay the nanny something, to bring Hermione and Tarquin back from playschool, while mummy and daddy are out at meetings or away skiing. Hence the childcare. Does that explain it?

  45. 45
    Dave the Weak Tosser says:

    Nothing to do with me. It’s IPSA.

    It’s not as if I had any influence, I’m just Prime Minister after all.

  46. 46
    A Data gaveringsite says:

    That’s no good they trace your email and put you on the state database

  47. 47
    An IPSA Job advert on their website... says:

    Process Manager and Deputy Head of Validation and MP Support
    Salary Band D £35,350 – £46,460

    “IPSA is the body created in 2009 to independently regulate and administer MPs’ pay, pension, costs and expenses. It is a small organisation with a significant responsibility for public money and the way it is spent. It manages a budget of £170m and is responsible for ensuring transparency and fairness in the way MPs are remunerated.
    As well as running a payroll function for MPs and their staff – making up around 4,000 people – and checking MPs’ costs and expenses, IPSA is responsible for setting MPs’ pay and pensions, and is currently undertaking a major review of their remuneration.
    The successful candidate will work with the Head of Validation and MP Support to lead on the management of the administrative practices, procedures and processes relating to the processing, validation and provision of guidance on MPs’ business costs and expenses. They will also lead on the analysis, investigation and resolution of complex process issues, problems and complaints, providing expert advice to the Head and rest of the Team.”

  48. 48
    Tom Catesby. says:

    All heart cat.

  49. 49

    The Mandela shindig has left me wondering whether Jimmy Savile used a sign language man…

  50. 50
    Lamp Post and Piano Wir Manufacturers Association says:

    Things are looking up. 2014/2015 Sales Forecasts increased

  51. 51
    The House of Charlatans says:

    Not one MP is qualified enough to actually apply to work for IPSA !

  52. 52
    The Lefties have taken over the Asylum says:

    The BBC put on a Brave face over their failed pilgrimage to Mandelaland as did the Western leaders. But the truth is, that it was an absolute farce and the West, its leaders and media made absolute fools of themselves over their Mandela mania.

  53. 53
    Quack Quack says:

  54. 54
    Village Idiot says:

    ….In my opinion,mps’ should be paid the nations average wage plus 10%,with office expenses paid and separate from the wage,that way they may strive to enhance the nations average wage,but at present and for the last 15 years,given how politicians wrecked everthing,peanuts would be generous!

  55. 55
    Blame Little John says:

    Little Johnny Bercow is the MP’s shop steward and pay negotiator, not Dave.

  56. 56
    Village Idiot says:

    …..Keelhauled and the lash..

  57. 57
    The House of Charlatans says:

    Suppose it makes a change from from donating tax-payers money to “good causes”.

  58. 58
    Evan Davis says:

    “I would love to be in Dick Whittington”

  59. 59
    Tommy Twp says:

    If Kennedy is a chair, do they take it in turns to sit on him?

  60. 60
    David Cameron: Double First in Shit Stabbing says:

    A lesson from !ndia to Cameron: You are a fucking mong.

    Broader lesson for normal people – Perhaps !ndia’s ties with Russ!a are a little stronger than previously assumed.

  61. 61
    WoRaft Chihuahua says:

    How can you say it was useless? That whitewash lasted for ages before it flaked off, and only then because someone was scrubbing at it with a wire brush. Be Proud! Some of the finest and most expensive crack-covering bureaucracy in the world goes on in Britain.

  62. 62
    Fuck the EU says:

    When is the p’aedophile Barroso going to return the M’cCann girl ?

    If they don’t, perhaps UK social services should steal another child from an EU national perceived to be mentally incompetent to get the message across more clearly.

  63. 63
    David Cameron: Double First in Shit Stabbing says:

    Inspired by Mandela, Cameron should put a tyre around Ed Balls and set him on fire.

    Cameron is just proving that white men can’t jump.

  64. 64
    Those were the days my friend - but they ended says:

    Oh my God!!!

    Never mind all this about these bastard troughers, the Australian Supreme Court has just outlawed gay marriage!

    Now what are all them Ozpuftas gonna do?

  65. 65
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote UKIP

  66. 66
    F**k the LibLabCon says:


  67. 67
    David Cameron: Double First in Shit Stabbing says:

    Shit stab in sin ?

  68. 68
    Tanya Hyde says:

    And don’t forget their platinum plated pensions…that is what is the at the heart of this bread and circus sideshow…

    It’s all just for distraction.

    The irresponsibility of public sector workers has been laid bare by an MP who really knows about taxpayer-funded excess

    “Let’s begin with a parlour game. You’ll have heard much about “gold-plated” public sector pensions this week, but can you guess the discrete group of public sector employees whose pensions are not so much gold-plated, or even platinum-plated, as rhodium-plated – metaphorically clad in Earth’s most precious metal? For reasons unclear, but believed to be rooted in our radioactive levels of national self-loathing, this group has not been minced by the rightwing press this week.
    And so to a mere taster of their perks. Just 15 years’ work could build up a pension of £24,000, a recent FT assessment noted, whereas private sector employees would have to amass £700,000 to generate the same income when they retire at 65. Taxpayers contribute three times more to this group’s pensions than its members do themselves. And should they die, their spouses receive a lump sum of four times their annual salary, and an annual income of five-eighths of their pension.”

  69. 69
    Village Idiot says:

    ….”Here Hear”, I think the beeb was shocked at the farce,believing everyone worshipped mandela,which shows how wrong and detatched from public opinion…Similar thing on R5 ,Campbell,could not believe someone would criticise women mps’ and suggest the women mps’ were not very good…same could be said about the males I suppose?

  70. 70
    WoRaft Chihuahua says:

    My job application

    Validation and MP Support

    You are wonderful, you do such a good job. We couldn’t manage without you . God only knows where we’d be without you. You are beautiful. I love you. I want to have your babies. Can I get you a coffee, cushion, snack, free flat in Islington and a fact-finding mission in the Bahamas. Is that telly too loud for you, here, let me fill that form in for you. I’ll deal with that nasty journalist, you put your feet up.

  71. 71
    Casual Observer 5 says:

    This move does kind of imply that the MPs perceive themselves to be in a regular job of sorts.

    That is highly anti-democratic.

    Would not mind if the pay goes to UKIP MPs – that they are not involved in the decision here could be a sweet irony. But this lot need to be strung up with piano wire for trying this one on.

  72. 72
    Gerry M. Ander says:

    That word ‘gerrymandering’ reminds me of the past. That’s exactly how the Protestant ruling class managed to keep Catholics out of politics in Northern Ireland for generations. It was solved by a 30 year long war called ‘The Troubles’. Good luck, England, you’re going to need it and I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.

  73. 73
    The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder says:

    “I asked him what your allowance should be. He said, ‘Three hundred a year; on no account give him more; that’s all most men have.’ I thought that a deplorable answer. I had more than most men when I was up, and my recollection is that nowhere else in the world and at no other time, do a few hundred pounds, one way or the other, make so much difference to one’s importance and popularity. I toyed with the idea of giving you six hundred,” said my father, snuffling a little, as he did when he was amused, “but I reflected that, should the Warden come to hear of it, it might sound deliberately impolite. So I shall give you five hundred and fifty.”

  74. 74
    Graham says:

    They’ll be hanging from lamp posts fairly soon if they don’t do something about immigration. Half a million each year is a fucking joke. And , thanks to Van Rompuy , Barroso and the EUSSR , immediately entitled to every fucking benefit from our Welfare State together with free schooling for their kids and free health care from the NHS.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    EU Funded Pro-EU Troll says:

    Vote LibLabCon

  77. 77
    WoRaft Chihuahua says:

    should they die, their spouses receive a lump sum of four times their annual salary, and an annual income of five-eighths of their pension.

    Never mind piano wire and lamp posts, they need to look out for soap and roller skates at the top of the stairs.

  78. 78
    Gerry M. Ander says:

    Jobs for the boys.

  79. 79
    Hang all MPs says:

    Guido, you don’t mention the biggest scam of all – employing all sorts of family members to do spurious jobs, with no checks or balances and thus increasing, massively, their household income and pension entitlements?

  80. 80
    Gerry M. Ander says:

    *choke* *splutter* Why wait?

  81. 81
    A Kipper. says:

    They’d enjoy the lash!

  82. 82
    Madame Cruel of Bayswater says:

    Oh, yes, they do.

  83. 83
    efftfoff says:

    Professor Sir Ian Kennedy, IPSA Chair
    Sir Neil Butterfield, Board Member
    Elizabeth Padmore, Board Member
    Anne Whitaker, Board Member
    Professor Tony Wright, Board Member
    Andrew McDonald, Chief Executive

    I put to you that you are a bunch of incompetent and/or corrupt cronies who are unfit to decide on how our money is spent.

  84. 84
    sack the greedy B'stards says:

    One MP per county = 98 hang the surplus.
    Make party politics illegal MPs should be loyal to their constituents not the party.

  85. 85

    No pay problem. But it is a gigantic piggies in the trough problem. Innit. So please carry on your anti-troughing campaign!

  86. 86
    Anonymous says:

    But then Public Sector pay in general is not linked to the cost of living. They have had much less so why should MPs?

  87. 87
    Onion Terror says:

    Usual Tory F**ktards and also some Limp Dums and Labuuurr knobends telling the public that a MP is supposed to be a professional occupation.

    There should be a maximum of three terms in office for all elected members in parliament/council and no more.

    (Elected by thirds, obviously, to spare us ‘Virgins’)

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