Monday, 15 June 2009

Paying MPs

Today, I'm going to look at a particular matter. MPs and Pay.

The current annual salary for an MP is £64,766, according to UK Parliament website. Some get more money if they have particular posts, like Speaker.

The UK median average annual salary is around £25,000. So MPs get paid more than twice the average salary.

Question: how many hours do they work, compared to someone who /does/ receive the annual national wage? Because they sit in the House about 40 weeks a year. Sometimes they can argue all night, but there's not always a call for them to do so. However, I'm certain that it's above the national average, and probably significantly above.

The question now becomes why you should pay MPs. I think that right now, you have to pay them because otherwise intelligent and charismatic people will have no reason to move into politics from wherever they are.

I am flailing in all of my presentations to the blog-reading world because I believe there is a disjunct between democracy and what democracy does.

Democracy ensures that majorities get what they want, in blunt terms. If you're in a good one, then it's not just one majority, and if one advantage misses you, another will pick you up next time around. But that doesn't always happen.

What has this got to do with MP pay? Well, money is what you give people to do things that they wouldn't otherwise do. And right now there is a perception problem with politics. An us vs them mentality exists, with us saying 'they do not care about us'. What we should be saying is 'we care about us, and we do it via democratic methods'. That is, we take real care over the selection of our MPs.

The current view gives people who have business sense and acumen no reason at all to enter politics. Take a pay cut just to be told I'm useless by association? No thanks.

So either we need to bribe people more, or we need to blame them less.

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