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Thursday, October 07, 2021

My bleeding heart and the struggling Tory MPs

We have just seen a £20 a week cut in universal credit, national insurance is going up for everybody but the super-rich, the demand for food banks continues to grow, furlough payments have ended leaving many people jobless and worse off, and wages are struggling to keep pace with inflation, having barely recovered fron the pandemic, yet a Tory MP is claiming that £82,000 a year is not enough to live on.

The Independent reports on the view of Worthing West Conservative MP, Sir Peter Bottomley, that some MPs are finding it “really grim” to live on a salary of £82,000. Mr Bottonley, who is well past the normal retirement age at 77 and currently Father of the House, believes that the annual salary, which does not include expenses and perks, should be higher. This is despite the fact that the median salary in the UK is just over £31,000:

In an interview with the New Statesman, Sir Peter insisted that MPs should get paid as much as GP – about £100,000 on average in England.

An increase of £18,000 a year to MPs’ salaries would represent a pay rise of almost 22 per cent. The government this year offered NHS staff a rise of 3 per cent.

Sir Peter said: “I take the view that being an MP is the greatest honour you could have, but a general practitioner in politics ought to be paid roughly the same as a general practitioner in medicine.

“Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110-£115,000 a year.

“It’s never the right time, but if your MP isn’t worth the money, it's better to change the MP than to change the money.”

While Sir Peter said he did not struggle financially, he believed the situation was “desperately difficult” for newer MPs.

He said: “I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.”

His comments came as ministers pressed ahead with a cut Universal Credit that charities have warned will plunge thousands of people into poverty.

My heart bleeds for the dire straits these MPs find themselves in. Perhaps they should find themselves a better paying job and leave politics to those who have a better understanding of how people live and survive on far less than an MPs salary.
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