Payrise? MPs Are Already Overpaid

Cameron has already ordered his troops to stop claiming dodgy expenses and it now seems likely that all MPs will finally lose their gold-plated expense fiddles.  As sure as Hoon has houses they will inevitably demand pay rises.  Examine the situation:  an MP’s current compensation package (without dishonesty or blatant looting) is worth some £120,000 to £130,000 if added to the basic salary are their “within the rules” allowances and pensions valued at pre-tax equivalent market rates.  Guido gives a range because of arguments as to the value of their pension package.  So let us settle on a figure of £125,000 as the current all-in value of their package.  Don’t forget many of them also increase the household income by employing children and spouses (or their 80-year-old mother in Peter Hain’s case).  MP’s basic salaries of £64.766 puts them in the top 3% of earners.  MP’s all-in packages put them in the top 1% of earners, yet they are in the words of the late Tony Banks “a sort of high-powered social worker”. Social workers are paid £30,000 a year.

millionaire-mp-logoThere is an all party consensus developing in Westminster that to make up for their loss of fiddles they should get a pay rise of some £30,000 – a rise equivalent to the aforesaid social worker’s annual salary, or the annual pay of an army officer risking his life in the taliban’s line of fire.  What on earth makes politicians think they are worth three times as much as a lieutenant in Helmand?  Being paid to hang round in taxpayer subsidised bars in SW1 for a late vote is not exactly as stressful as taking deadly incoming fire from AK47s or writing to the mothers and wives of young men under your command who have given their lives for their country.

The politicians of SW1 are by comparison undeserving, untrustworthy and overpaid.  They have a sense of self-entitlement that is as unjustified as their use of the term “honourable”.  They will try to justify a pay rise by comparison to surgeons or headmasters.  We need high pay to attract and retain those professionals.  Every available safe seat attracts hundreds of applicants, there is no need to raise the rewards.  Paying politicians high rewards attracts exactly the wrong type of careerist into politics and the political class have now shown themselves to be as despicable as they are interchangeable. We want people in politics who are more like good priests – poor and honest.




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Quote of the Day

Jeremy Corbyn in the Evening Standard

“… we must also face the uncomfortable fact that a small number of our members and supporters hold anti-Semitic views and attitudes, which need to be confronted and dealt with more rapidly and effectively.

The evidence is clear enough. Labour staff have seen examples of Holocaust denial, crude stereotypes of Jewish bankers, conspiracy theories blaming 9/11 on Israel, and even one member who appeared to believe that Hitler had been misunderstood.

So let me be clear. People holding those views have no place in the Labour Party.

… we have not done enough to get to grips with the problem, and the Jewish community and our Jewish members deserve an apology. My party and I are sorry for the hurt and distress caused. … We must strive to understand why anti-Semitism has surfaced in our party…

… when criticism of or opposition to the Israeli government uses anti-Semitic ideas — attributing its injustices to Jewish identity, demanding that Jews in Britain or elsewhere answer for its conduct, or comparing Israel to the Nazis — then a line must be drawn.  Anti-Zionism is not in itself anti-Semitic and many Jews themselves are not Zionists. But there are also a very few who are drawn to the Palestinian question precisely because it affords an opportunity to express hostility to Jewish people in a “respectable” setting. Our movement must not be a home for such individuals.

Second, there are people who have come to see capitalism and imperialism as the product of conspiracy by a small shadowy elite rather than a political, economic, legal and social system. That is only a step from hoary myths about “Jewish bankers” and “sinister global forces”.

These views do no service to the struggle for a just society.”

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