MPs pay

Dear oh dear. If ever there was a lot of wasted media time on a numbers-based topic that was not based in the context of the numbers, this is it. 

IPSA, the parliamentary standards authority, published its consultation on MPs pay on 2 June. It proposed a rise of £7,000 on the current annual rate of £67,000. It was reviewing a consultation of July 2013, and decision made in December 2013, to make this increase. The rise was kept on ice until after the election. Other components of the change then proposed (lower pensions, smaller redundancy payments, etc) were implemented. Overall that package was cost neutral to the tax-payer.

A couple of media outlets, such as this Daily Telegraph article and the Spectator, have done the story justice but most have not.

Here is one table of comparisons from the report:

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 13.51.27

The proposed salary does not look high – especially given the cuts that MPs have had since 2013 in other components of their pay.

Also note:

– The TaxPayers’ Alliance produced its town hall rich list in August last year. They found at least 2,195 people paid over £100,000. That’s, of course, a figure much higher than £74,000. At least 549 received pay of at least £150,000 – more than double the pay proposed for MPs.

– The TPA also produced a report on trade union chiefs’ pay. Back in 2011, there were 37 on at least £100,000.

– Most telling, HMRC stats suggest that about 1.44 million tax payers earned at least £70,000 in 2012-13.

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 14.24.42

MPs might not be loved, and the timing is not good for a “large pay rise”, but are we really saying that they should not be among the top 1.4 million earners in the country?

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