Friday, 3 June 2011


Politics Home reports that more than half of new MPs took a salary cut when they entered Parliament, according to research by the Hansard Society.
"The survey of the 2010 intake of MPs found 56% saw their salary drop, with 31% taking a cut of at least £30,000 a year."
 The BBC reports that:
"New MPs are finding the combination of long hours and a heavy workload a struggle, and worry the job is harming their family lives, research suggests. A survey by the Hansard Society of the 227 MPs elected for the first time in 2010 suggest the new intake are working an average of 69 hours a week."
So their salary dropped - what did they think: that being an MP was a money-making exercise? So they are working 69 hours a week - let me tell them that as an Overseas Telegraphist in the 60s and 70s, I worked 84 hours a week for a lot less - pro rata - than they are presently earning!

It should also be noted from the BBC report that:
"Political research body the Hansard Society canvassed all the new MPs - about a quarter of whom responded - about their experiences during their first year in Parliament."
So only approximately 56 responded, yet about a quarter is being presented as the views of 227? Should public money be expended on such a purile exercise? Bearing in mind that it is generally recognised that public employment remuneration is less than that in the private sector (unless of course you happen to be CEO of a local authority, but I digress) what in heavens name did these MPs expect?

Through their control of prospective candidates the political leaders have obviously selected the wrong type of person! If these MPs find the job so odious perhaps they might like to step aside in favour of those who would willingly perform the required public service without complaint? Also with a lot more principle, intellect and an understanding of what representative democracy is supposed to deliver!


john in cheshire said...

Don't like the conditions, don't do the job. Simples!

TomTom said...

56/650 is that statistically significant as a sample size ?

WitteringsfromWitney said...

jic: Agreed! As I intimated, methinks some of them took the job for the wrong reasons!

TT: Similarly an opinion poll of 2000 participants is indicative if 60 million people?

Edward Spalton said...

Prior to 1971 MPs got a salary (which they voted to themselves), free first class rail travel to and from their constituency, free franking for their mail and 2,500 sheets of paper a year.
No office, no pension, no second home allowance, no researchers or assistants.

In that year, Parliament outsourced members' conditions of employment to something called the Top Salaries Review Body and the perks began to increase to catch up with the other side of the Channel where many MPs had been feted by the EEC in the run up to Britain's entry.

One MP stood out against this. He said that the existing arrangements were quite sufficient to ensure that men of ability but few private means were able to serve their country in Parliament. That's what payment is for - not to build a career structure.

He went on to say that the more parliament became like a pensioned, salaried career, the greater would be the power of the gatekeepers - the party selectors. This would change the relationship between MPs, their parties and the government - giving more power to the last two and diminishing the power of the Commons.

That prescient MP was Enoch Powell and I think we can all say ENOCH WAS RIGHT!

WitteringsfromWitney said...

ES: And boy, has that power by the party leaders been used!

As with so many matters: if only we had listened to Enoch!