During these tough times with benefits slashed in real terms, public sector wages frozen, services cut around the country and various other measures to help the public finances stay on course one would imagine that MP’s respect the sacrifices which are being made to help right the ship and accept they also have to make these sacrifices. However in a new parliamentary poll which has revealed that over 2/3rds of MP’s want a pay rise it seems the vast majority of MP’s do not feel they have to make any sacrifices at all and are happy for the public to take the pain. This new revelation isn’t a devastating policy (we have seen enough of those) and it won’t cause anyone any harm (except the MP’s) however it is a mind-boggling move from a group whose popularity is on a par with std’s at the moment.
After all these are not people who are on £15,000 a year and struggling to make the rent. These are people who earn over £60,000 a year excluding expenses and own two homes one of which is funded by us. I do not disagree that the people who effectively dictate the laws in our country deserve this amount of compensation, especially with the hours they work. However these are the people who refuse to implement a living wage so those in work are still in dire poverty, yet they believe that these salaries which are double over the median earnings even without the expenses are not enough. It shows how out of touch MP’s on all sides are and with politics becoming ever more important in our lives it doesn’t help the lack of enthusiasm in politics felt by our country.
MP’s have a responsibility to not just run the country correctly and to turn up to parliament but to keep people interested in politics and to serve the people. These values need to be reinstalled into politicians (that’s if they were ever there before). On the anonymous questionnaire one MP wrote “Media commentators should shadow a week in the life of an average MP to understand the pressure, breadth of knowledge and social skills that are required to do the job. They have no idea.” That is true but it seems this MP needs to learn people skills to understand that when everyone is struggling, MP’s cannot be expected to think dear me it’s been a tough year with only £60,000 in my pay pocket i need far more when the median wage is less than £27,000.
If MP’s do not buck up their attitude they will find themselves facing even more mass disenfranchisement and visceral hatred than they see now. As a politics student it pains me, i defend politicians every day however this cannot be allowed to stand. MP’s need to understand that the world has changed and if they do not understand this then they will kill the last vestige of peoples trust.