October 2017
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Do you know how much of your money your MP is really pocketing?

I wanted to title today’s blog: “Do you know how much your MP earns?” But as most MPs do little to no work for their constituents (apart for turning up once a week for PMQs to make it look like Westminster is a hive of debate and activity) the word “earns” would not have been appropriate.

This year will be a great one for our wonderful MPs. They get not one but two pay rises. The first is a modest about 1% in April taking their salaries from £66,396 to £67,731. I suppose that by just taking the tiny 1% they show they understand the economic difficulties the country faces. But then just four weeks later, our MPs give themselves about another 10% taking their salaries to £74,000. Of course, they claim that they are being awarded this money by the supposedly ‘independent’ IPSA and so they’re not just giving it to themselves. But I didn’t hear many of them refusing to take it.

It’s not just their salaries that are shooting up. So are their expenses. Just about two years ago, MPs’ allowances to pay their staff rocketed by about 20% from £115,000 to £137,000 for constituencies outside London and by 25% to £144,000 for those in London. Of course, much of this money pours straight into the pockets of MPs’ family members. We know that the number of MPs employing family members with our money rose last year from 155 to 170. But we have no idea how many MPs are also employing lovers, boyfriends, children of their political and business cronies and so on.

But the real moneyspinner for MPs is their gloriously generous, inflation-protected pension. An MP gets 1/40th of their salary for every year spent with their snouts in the Westminster trough. So let’s do the numbers. A 1/40th of an MP’s £74,000 salary is £1,850. With annuity rates at just 3.3% for an inflation-protected joint pension, you or I would need to put £56,000 a year into our pension fund to get a similar pension to our MP. Many people don’t even earn £56,000 a year let alone manage to save this in a pension scheme. Our MPs sadly fail to mention their unbelievably generous pension scheme when claiming they are underpaid:

greedyMPs

Then, of course, our MPs have so little real work to do that many of them have second, third and even fourth outside jobs in addition to being paid to represent the interests of their constituents. There can’t be many MPs who are pocketing less than £50,000 a year on the side with some earning hundreds of thousands of pounds thanks mainly to being an MP:

Tim Yeo

And there’s the ‘Government Minister Scam’. Being a government minister allows an MP to hugely increase their earnings:

MinisterCosts

With around 90 supposed ‘government ministers’, Britain has over twice the number of ministers compared to countries like Germany, Spain, Italy and France:

NumberMinisters

So, most MPs are really pocketing hundreds of thousands of pounds a year while keeping a straight face when saying things like ‘failure to pay politicians “fair” rates would make it harder to recruit good candidates for Parliament in future’.

But the most ridiculous aspect of all is that we absolutely don’t need 650 MPs any more. With most areas of government policy now being handed over to the EU or the national assemblies, 200 MPs at Westminster would be more than enough. After all, massive USA with more than 300 million people manages to get by with just 435 Members of Congress. So, why do we need 650 MPs?

Are we being scammed by our greedy, lying, self-serving politicians? Yes we are.

2 comments to Do you know how much of your money your MP is really pocketing?

  • FurnitureMan

    Snouts and trotters in the trough and still looking for more. It sickens me to think about how we are being scammed so easily by these so called people’s representatives. Truly scandalous.

  • MGJ

    The MP’s job description (at least for ConLibLab) has just three major components:

    1) “Loyalty” (unthinkingly to vote exactly the way you are told to every time)

    2) “Safety” (to have led a life so dull that no conceivable scandal could be attached to you)

    3)”Pragmatism” (no moral baggage nor belief in anything)

    On that basis, I suspect the “independent” salary committee might be comparing them with the wrong peer group.

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