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

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Bercows Claimed £30,000 Furlough Payments from Taxpayers When They Had £400,000 in Bank

Further to Guido’s story yesterday that the Bercows have over £400,000 in the bank, an eagle-eyed bean counting co-conspirator spotted a detail tucked away near the bottom of their company’s accounts: the outline of an accounting policy for government grants. That policy is typically only for businesses which have relied on the furlough scheme. 

Given that the accounts statement also shows the company only employs two people (John and Sally), there are a limited number of ways the grants could have been spent. Guido wonders whether these tough economic times left John with no choice other than to furlough Sally for the past year…

UPDATE: HMRC documents reveal that the Bercows did claim furlough money, with the report showing that their company (Fedhead Ltd.) made three claims across December 2020, January 2021, and February 2021 for a total of up to £30,000.

mdi-timer 28 May 2021 @ 10:28 28 May 2021 @ 10:28 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
MPs Pay Should Be Performance Related to GDP Per Capita

Keir Starmer has joined a long list of MPs attacking the inflation-busting pay rise being handed to them, calling for the cash to go to key workers instead. Pay setting body IPSA has a structure deliberately designed by MPs after the 2009 expenses scandal to give them plausibly deniable cover for expense claims and pay hikes. “Nothing to do with us, it is independent” is the excuse MPs trot out. Well Parliament is sovereign and they can rule that a pay rise will not be awarded this year in solidarity with the people, as has happened in other legislatures around the world.

IPSA is set to authorise a 4.1% per cent increase – taking MPs’ salaries up by about £3,360 from £81,932 to over £85,000. Which means a newly elected MP, a couple of years out of university with no experience, immediately will be in the top 2% of earners. This is not a pay scale commensurate with the real world in normal times, it certainly is not commensurate with the current situation of the voters whom MPs represent. Unemployment is surging by thousands every day, millions of furloughed workers are facing a 33% cut in already low incomes, even if you have a job the prospect of a pay rise is small. MPs are not in this together with the rest of us…

IPSA is hiding behind a formula based on public sector average weekly earnings. There is no performance related aspect to MPs pay. Turn up, don’t turn up. Vote in person, drop in on Zoom. Whatever happens they get paid and they get pay rises. Unlike the rest of us.

In the real world workers get performance related pay – MPs should too. MPs are supposed to improve our lives by raising the standard of living for all. A measure of that is GDP per capita. Pegging MPs’ pay to GDP per capita would link their prosperity to the prosperity of all voters, not just the judges and generals that MPs want to be on a par with. The representatives of the people should prosper with the people. If we get richer as a whole, their pay goes up, if we get poorer, their pay goes down. This will incentivise politicians to enact policies that make the people prosper.

IPSA is running a public consultation and Guido’s friends at the Taxpayers’ Alliance have come up with a handy tool to convey co-conspirators thoughts on MPs’ pay to IPSA. If you want MPs pay to be aligned with performance, now is your chance to push for that to IPSA

mdi-timer 12 October 2020 @ 16:17 12 Oct 2020 @ 16:17 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Lords’ Allowance Slashed in Half, Will Have to Contribute to Claim

In one of the most sensible reforms of the whole Coronavirus epidemic, members of the House of Lords will no longer be able to claim the full £326 a day allowance, and will receive nothing for simply turning up in Parliament. Bad news for money grabbing Baroness Uddin

Peers will now only be able to claim £162 a day, and only on the proviso that they actually contribute in a debate or select committee. The rate, lower because peers will not need to pay for travel or accommodation to work, is designed to encourage members to stay at home. Guido hopes this radical new idea of paying Peers for the work they actually do rather than just for clocking in sticks after the crisis is over…

The proposals, drawn up by a cross-party commission are expected to be approved on Wednesday. Lords sources tell Guido that the Tory-led fiscal hawks on the commission have won, beating back Labour and Lib Dem proposals for more money. The latter party in particular wanted 80% of the total to be given to their noble colleagues…

mdi-timer 5 May 2020 @ 08:54 5 May 2020 @ 08:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Cameron Makes It Impossible to Follow His Money

Guido spotted some shenanigans going on at The Office of David Cameron this morning. He has re-registered the limited company as an unlimited company. Unlimited companies are rarely used because they have unlimited liability which defeats the main objective for anyone setting up a limited company, which Cameron did in 2016 immediately after quitting as PM. The former PM who championed transparency in office can only be doing this for one reason, to remove the requirement to file public accounts…

To be sure he won’t have enjoyed the coverage of the £836,000 profit he banked in 2019 from media and speaking appearances. He’s been well advised, unlike Tony Blair he didn’t go down the controversial offshore route and will therefore pay UK taxes in full on his earnings. We just won’t be able to follow the money he pockets now he is in the very private sector…

mdi-timer 15 April 2020 @ 14:00 15 Apr 2020 @ 14:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Tories Pressurising Members To Donate

A new Tory fundraising drive is targeting members and supporters who have yet to donate to the Conservatives’ campaign. The email tells recipients that “Over the last twelve months Labour have raised nearly £13 million from donations alone. And now the polls are tightening. So we urgently need your help to match Corbyn’s war chest.”

The email, sent by co-Chairman of the party Ben Elliott, highlights members and supporters who have not contributed to the ‘Election Fighting Fund’ in an attempt to pressure them into giving £5 or 10 in the final days of the campaign. It’s more normal for late-stage fundraising emails to target supporters who have already donated – the Tories are pulling out all the stops following Labour’s massive union cash injection… 

mdi-timer 3 December 2019 @ 10:23 3 Dec 2019 @ 10:23 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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