I\’m afraid Iain Dale gets it rather wrong here:
Whenever I have written about this subject before it\’s provoked a torrent of responses from people who believe MPs shouldn;t be paid at all, let alone paid £60,000. Absolute tosh. What those people are arguing for is a Parliament full of rich people who can afford not to be paid. Surely we should pay our MPs at a level where few would actually be put off standing for Parliament. I\’d like Parliament to be representative of a number of professions, but few people from those professions would think about standing for Parliament because they would have to take a pay drop. Relatively junior managers in industry or the public sector now command salaries in excess of what MPs earn. What message does it send out that we are happy to pay MPs the same as the Deputy Public Affairs Manager of an NHS Trust?
The value of any job in a market economy is set by supply and demand. We have a (relatively) fixed demand for MPs. Some 630 or so (roughly, isn\’t it?).
At the last general election some 3,000 people stood for one of those seats. Some will say that some were markedly unqualified (from Monster Raving Loonies to Trots of various types) but this isn\’t, in a democracy, a valid position to hold. Any and every one of us is qualified to be an MP: that\’s what rule by the people means.
So as we have 3,000 qualified applicants for some 600 jobs, clearly, we are overpaying those who do it. MPs pay should therefore be cut, radically.
In fact, back in the day when being an MP attracted no salary at all (only Ministers were paid) we had no shortage of MPs. Thus we would have no shortage now if MPs were unpaid now (that is arguable, but do you think there would be a shortage if this were the case?).
Cut MPs pay and cut it now!