Sunday, 9 June 2013

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Well this is all very interesting because there is such a wide range of opinion on this issue. A plurality of people would like MPs salaries to be raised although there is no consensus to what level. The option most voted for however was for things to stay the same. Interestingly a significant minority of people thought MPs deserve a pay cut.

Should MPs expenses be got rid of and the salaries of MPs be raised?

Yes, to £150 K per year.
Yes, to £100 K per year. 
Yes, to £80 K per year. 
No things should stay the same. 
MPs should get a pay cut.

Total votes: 25

So what do I think? Well I do think that MPs salaries should be raised to around £100,000 if expenses are cut.

We have a potential problem which may affect our democracy. We have right up to 2010 been building a better representation of  MPs from all socio economic backgrounds. It is obviously easy for millionaires to get into Parliament than those who are more like the public because millionaires have more money. But since the expenses scandal the pockets are MPs are on the squeeze. Rightly so they can no longer claim for duck houses and gravel drives but the new expenses system can also be too rigid in not allowing basic office equipment sometimes. Even going through the process of IPSA puts off many MPs for claiming for the basic things.

Duck Houses are rightly out.

For the poorest of MPs, this can be a big problem. Who wants to do a job when you're going backwards on the real pay you get? Where is the incentive for the best people to run the country rather than those who are a modern day version of a Georgian fop? We could liberalise benefits again as some MPs want, but some will just want to start fiddling which is not good. So raising their salary is a good idea as we don't necessarily change the amount spent on MPs by the public by doing this, but we give a higher amount to MPs. That way we may have less scandals although the genuinely greedy will stop at nothing.

IPSA is not amazing at its job and has put off many people from continuing or becoming MPs, not great for democracy. 

But should this happen? Probably not, it would a PR disaster. No government could be able enough to avoid the media storm of raising MPs salaries in a time of austerity. The public would not easily understand it and Labour would spin this so hard that it would seriously effect the government in polling. Perhaps this should be looked at when times are better, common sense however stipulates that things should stay the same.

Please vote in the next poll.

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