To By Vic Daniels
Now I know it's not a popular thought at a time when we're busy bashing MPs for living high on the hog at taxpayers expense, but I'd like to see the base pay for MPs actually increased to, say, £150,000-a-year (they currently get £64,766). I'd also give them proper allowances to manage their offices and run their constituencies.
Yes, increase salaries we must - especially if we are to attract the right kind of person into Parliament. The problem with the current compensation system is that it allows only two types of people to stand as MPs - those 'career' politicians who are subsidized by political groups or trade unions, or the privileged (those rich enough to be able to serve without worrying about paying the mortgage). Unfortunately it's very difficult for anyone else to seek a political career at Westminster (and by that I mean ordinary people who actually understand the real issues, and who could contribute to governing the country in a practical and commonsense manner).
But don't we deserve to have intelligent, ordinary people helping to run our country ? Shouldn't we open up our Parliament so that it becomes economically feasible for normal, bright people to serve and lead ? Well, I think we should - and that's why I'd pay our MPs significantly more. Because I'd like to see Parliament made up of people who have lived basically ordinary lives, and who know what it's like to struggle to put food on the table; people who understand that the more effort they put in, the more successful you become; and individuals who appreciate that you have to run the country like you run a small business, and that consistently spending more than you earn leads only to disaster.
Yes, unless we change the way we pay our MPs, we'll be stuck with the toffs and the boffs we've got now - and look at the mess that lot have got us into!
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