Ryeview – June 2009

Slash pay for the political classes

John Clark writes…

First published: June 2009 – Gazette & Herald

‘Go forth and multiply’; ‘You are all in it for yourselves’; ‘You have all got your noses in the trough’; ‘You all urinate in the same receptacle’; ‘there’s no point you are all the same’. These phrases are all ringing in my ears from canvassing for the County Council elections.

The public are angry. If working people were doing what the MP’s were doing they would be sacked instantly, many would be in court and some behind bars. This is not happening to the MP’s. No job loss, no court cases and no prison. A few MP’s are being asked to stand down at the next election, but they keep their £64,000 a year salary, their £100,000 ‘golden goodbye’ and their pension, augmented at public expense, for when they leave the Westminster village.

There are three kinds of MP’s; those with their noses in the trough and those that knew about it. They are as bad as the first. The third group are those that were unaware that this greed and in some cases corruption was going on. If MP’s don’t know of the abuse in Parliament how can they possibly be aware of the abuse of the weak and poor by the strong and rich in society.

MP’s are calling for the system to be changed; their salaries to be decided by a Senior Salaries Revue Body. Some are even proposing changes to the way parliament works. Others are calling for changes to the voting system or the House of Lords to be reformed.

These ideas don’t solve the problem. The problem is caused by MP’s considering that they are a superior class. MP’s strut round expensively dressed.

  • Their income at £64,000/year is in the top 10% of incomes in the UK.
  • They travel first class.
  • They make a profit out of second homes etc.

Our representatives must not be part of a well-off political class. In this case all people on less than £100,000 are in an inferior class to our MP political class.

So what are the possible solutions?

  • MP’s to have second class rail travel paid once/week from and to their constituency when parliament is sitting. This to be for all MP’s at say more than 2 hours travel time from Westminster. MP’s with less than 2 hours travel time would have daily travel paid.
  • The state should buy blocks of flats. This would mean that MP’s with more than 2 hours journey time would have accommodation provided.
  • MP’s salary should be the national average wage, about £25,000/ year.
  • MP’s must be full-time. Within 12 months of being elected all other business interests or employment of more than £5,000 income must cease.
  • All secretarial and research support must be employed by the state.

The barriers between MP’s and their public must be removed. People in Ryedale should not be paying £400/month for their MP to eat. If structures like those above are not put in place the anger across the doorstep will continue to flow.

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