Writing as part of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority's Month of Ideas, TPA Chief Executive Matthew Elliott explores MPs' pay and perks.
In addressing the question of how much MPs should be paid, what we have to keep in mind right now is that we remain in the midst of a deep economic crisis and families, councils and central government alike are all having to find ways of making savings. And with our politicians (rightly) intent on trying to keep public spending down, it is essential that they adhere to the same discipline in the running of their own affairs.
In that context, there can be absolutely no justification for increasing MPs’ salaries this year or, in all likelihood, for the rest of this Parliament. And when it comes to their pensions, too, the public will not tolerate MPs enjoying gold-plated deals that are unavailable to most of the rest of us. It’s only since 1911 that MPs have received a salary, at which point they were paid the princely sum of £400 a year – equivalent to about £37,000 at today’s prices.