Paying our MPs

The Liberals are threatening to oppose the Coalition policy of making parliamentary constituencies the same size and ending Labour’s long term and unfair electoral advantage.

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?

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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5 Responses to Paying our MPs

  1. Prentiz says:

    Keith – combine this with allowing them to vote in proportion to the number of constituents they represent, and you will do away with the need for future boundary reviews entirely!

  2. MP’s should be paid by how much time they spend debating policies and not queue up in the lobby when the whips tell them to and always voting for the governments policy. The number of MP’s who never rebel is a very high percentage:
    http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mps.php?sort=rebellions

    Lazy, second home flipping, capital gains tax dodging leeches they are.

  3. I am not going to let you get away with this stupid and generic comment, young Malvolio. It shows signs of excessive reading of The Daily Mail or Private Eye. You may have youth and immaturity as an excuse but your comments are garbage. I have worked closely with MPs for years – both Conservative and Labour and it is a damned tough job. Unsocial hours and not very good pay – less than a school headmaster or a GP. Every herd has its black sheep but there are plenty of committed and hard working MPs out there and you do them a disservice with your comments based on ignorance and prejudice. KRM

  4. I take back the last sentence, I know not all of them are bad. But statistically there are more criminals in parliament than there is in the general population. I stand by the rest though, bunch of ideological sheep who vote the way they are told. Nice you have stopped ignoring me too 🙂

  5. beton says:

    Iˇ¦ve recently started a web site, the information you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work.

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