Father of the House Says MPs Need a Pay Rise
Guido has a lot of time for the Father of the House, Peter Bottomley. He was clear in the debate on Paterson, and he was right. His suggestion in The Times this morning on how to improve Parliament, “pay MPs more“, however, is not right. £81,932 is more than sufficient, and puts you in the top 3% of earners. Voters will not sympathise with Peter when he pleads for more money.
Many Tory MPs complain that it is simply not enough to raise a family, and won’t even cover the school fees. Here’s a thought: don’t go into politics if you want to finance an expensive lifestyle. Make some money first. The modern politico’s ascent of the greasy pole – graduate, become a researcher or a lobbyist, then get a SpAd job or work in the party HQ, then run for Parliament and become a minister in your late twenties / early thirties – means you are unlikely to have made much money at a time when your peers who did not go into politics are starting a family and getting a mortgage. It is a recipe for financial envy.
It also means our political class have little real world experience outside politics. Michael Heseltine had it right when he said people should make their place (and some money) in the real world before going into politics. If you can’t have the lifestyle you want on an MP’s pay, don’t go into politics young…
See also Performance Related Pay for MPs