Monday, 9 December 2013

MPs giving value for money?

The rise in MPs` pay is wrong on so many accounts, one can only wonder at the crass stupidity of Ipsa`s decision, a verdict given not only because of the decision itself, but because the chairman of the watchdog, Sir Ian Kennedy, actually said that politicians` pay had been suppressed for too long, and that it was "wrong in itself" to do so! Really? Perhaps we should put that one out to tender!
      Ministers will naturally distance themselves from the increase, very generous of them considering, not only their salaries, roughly £80k on top of their MP pay, but also their private wealth.They are not called the "cabinet of multi-millionaires" for nothing! Some MPs, of course, will not dare accept the rise, knowing full well that, as their decisions and legislation have caused widespread poverty, a huge increase in the use of food banks, and now the opening of "social supermarkets", the chance of them being re-elected would be even more remote. However, others will, claiming no doubt such arrogant nonsense as the rise will ensure the entry into parliament of people with special qualities, not reliant on private income. Oh please! What about such people who enter the teaching , nursing or caring professions? Presumably, either their special quality is that they can survive on much less than half the income  MPs currently earn, or that MPs have special qualities, but teachers and nurses don`t?
      Which then leads me to consider another point, the one concerning value for money. If laws were being passed to ensure jobs were available, decent pay was fairly distributed,the country`s finances were safe, fair tax was being paid by everyone, the provision of housing, health, welfare, education and security was made for all citizens, in a civised society, there might be some justification for the rise. However, the one thing the coalition does excel at is propaganda, with the result that the nation is convinced that pay rises, even for MPs, "can so obviously not be afforded financially",according to the Observer editorial, at a time when War On Want reckons the tax gap is at least £35bn a year, the top earners are only asked to pay income tax at 45%, and when trillions are squirreled away in British-owned tax havens. If the MPs were sorting that out, a pay rise might well be justified!

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