New Research Note: The Case Against Boosting MPs’ Pay

August 07, 2009 10:43 AM

New investigation reveals true picture of generous Westminster salaries


First comprehensive comparison with European politicians



A new research note from the TaxPayers’ Alliance seeks to put paid to suggestions of a pay rise for Members of Parliament by revealing the true scale of their pay packets, and comparing them to Parliamentarians abroad. The report reveals:



·         An MP’s basic salary - £64,766 – places them in the top 3% of the British population by earnings. By comparison, last year the median gross annual earnings for UK adults in work was £25,100.


·         On a comparison of basic salaries, British MPs are the fourth best paid in Europe, with only their counterparts in Italy, Austria and Ireland earning more.


·         Once the heavy taxpayer subsidy for MPs’ pensions – worth £17,468 a year – is taken into account, an ordinary backbencher actually earns £82,252 a year.


·         131 MPs receive salary top-ups called ‘Additional Payments’ for their Parliamentary work over and above the basic backbencher’s salary. This total consists of the Prime Minister, 60 Government ministers and Under Secretaries, 26 select committee chairmen, 37 standing committee chairmen and 7 other MPs. In total, these MPs received £3.5 million in extra payments in 2007-08.


·         Those Commons jobs that receive Additional Payments are:



P




MPs pay


 


The full report can be found here.



 


Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:


Some MPs have had the gall to try to hijack the recent crisis as an opportunity to push up their own pay even further. As these figures show, it is nonsense to suggest that MPs are poorly paid – they earn far more than the average in Britain, and more than the vast majority of European politicians. When you consider that all of them get a heavily subsidised pension, and that over 130 of them also have salary top-ups too, it is clear that there is no justification for any increase in MPs’ pay.”



 


For further quotes or to arrange broadcast interviews, please contact:


Mark Wallace, Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, on:


07795 084 113


 



Notes to Editors


 


1) The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) is Britain’s independent, grassroots campaign for lower taxes and better government. With over 30,000 supporters around the country the TPA led the campaign for full transparency and greater restraint in MPs’ expenses.


 


2) The full report is available online here.


 


3) Methodological Note: a) The full tally of ministerial jobs is accurate to 1 June 2009 – a small number may have changed in the 5 June reshuffle. Full data is yet to be published in the next set of Commons Factsheets or Senior Salaries Review Body documents. b) the additional payments made to some Standing Committee Chairmen are not made public, and have been calculated using the relevant sliding scale and the individuals’ length of service. c) all other data is drawn from official parliamentary publications and is referenced in the full report.

New investigation reveals true picture of generous Westminster salaries


First comprehensive comparison with European politicians



A new research note from the TaxPayers’ Alliance seeks to put paid to suggestions of a pay rise for Members of Parliament by revealing the true scale of their pay packets, and comparing them to Parliamentarians abroad. The report reveals:



·         An MP’s basic salary - £64,766 – places them in the top 3% of the British population by earnings. By comparison, last year the median gross annual earnings for UK adults in work was £25,100.


·         On a comparison of basic salaries, British MPs are the fourth best paid in Europe, with only their counterparts in Italy, Austria and Ireland earning more.


·         Once the heavy taxpayer subsidy for MPs’ pensions – worth £17,468 a year – is taken into account, an ordinary backbencher actually earns £82,252 a year.


·         131 MPs receive salary top-ups called ‘Additional Payments’ for their Parliamentary work over and above the basic backbencher’s salary. This total consists of the Prime Minister, 60 Government ministers and Under Secretaries, 26 select committee chairmen, 37 standing committee chairmen and 7 other MPs. In total, these MPs received £3.5 million in extra payments in 2007-08.


·         Those Commons jobs that receive Additional Payments are:



P




MPs pay


 


The full report can be found here.



 


Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:


Some MPs have had the gall to try to hijack the recent crisis as an opportunity to push up their own pay even further. As these figures show, it is nonsense to suggest that MPs are poorly paid – they earn far more than the average in Britain, and more than the vast majority of European politicians. When you consider that all of them get a heavily subsidised pension, and that over 130 of them also have salary top-ups too, it is clear that there is no justification for any increase in MPs’ pay.”



 


For further quotes or to arrange broadcast interviews, please contact:


Mark Wallace, Campaign Director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, on:


07795 084 113


 



Notes to Editors


 


1) The TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) is Britain’s independent, grassroots campaign for lower taxes and better government. With over 30,000 supporters around the country the TPA led the campaign for full transparency and greater restraint in MPs’ expenses.


 


2) The full report is available online here.


 


3) Methodological Note: a) The full tally of ministerial jobs is accurate to 1 June 2009 – a small number may have changed in the 5 June reshuffle. Full data is yet to be published in the next set of Commons Factsheets or Senior Salaries Review Body documents. b) the additional payments made to some Standing Committee Chairmen are not made public, and have been calculated using the relevant sliding scale and the individuals’ length of service. c) all other data is drawn from official parliamentary publications and is referenced in the full report.

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