Given Clegg’s petulant stance in opposing the boundary changes which sought to equalise the population size of parliamentary constituencies around the country, perhaps the Coalition should introduce a new policy of paying MPs according to the population they serve? After all it works well for GPs and dentists. Currently, every MP is paid a basic salary of £65,738. On top of this they have a hugely generous pension and an expenses scheme to pay for their constituency office costs but let’s stick with their salary for the moment.
If the same total sum for MPs’ salaries were to be paid in proportion to the size of their electorates, I calculate there would be, by way of illustration, the following losers:
- Douglas Alexander (Lab, Paisley & Renfrewshire South) down to £54,962;
- Alistair Carmichael (Lib, Orkney & Shetland) down to £29,324;
- Alistair Darling (Lab, Edinburgh South West) down to £57,564;
- Charles Kennedy (Lib, Ross, Skye & Lochaber) down to £45,230.
There would also be winners, including:
- Tony Baldry (Cons, Banbury) up to £73,028;
- David Cameron (Cons, Witney) up to £67,953;
- Andrew Turner (Cons, Isle of Wight) up to £96,656.
Given that most MPs are increasingly case workers for their constituents, it seems only fair to me that they are remunerated according to the potential size of their post bag and constituency size seems a reasonable surrogate for this. What do you think?