Parliament/elections/MPs pay

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by bigpod, May 26, 2009.

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  1. Random thoughts - are they sensible?

    Why does parliament not divide constituencies into five groups, then each of those groups elected for a fixed five years.

    This would mean 20% of the seats would be up for change each year, hopefully ensuring no government took too many liberties, and giving a chance for public to voice their feelings on the prevailing leaders regularly.

    MP's should also be well paid, but with a very limited amount of items they can claim expenses for, and their MP's pay should be dirfectly deducted from any outside income they receive.
  2. Turnover can be tricky to manage, but I can't see any problem with it. You aren;t the first one today to suggest radical change though. Whatever failings Cameron has, if he gets this load of changes through then parliament will actually operate again:
  3. There are certainly more benefits I think from a rolling system than from either the present maximum period or a fixed term system
  4. I want to go a stage further:

    Have 3 by-elections a week every week. That gets an election in each constituency about every 4 years.

    It will be impossible for the party bosses to get involved in each by-election, so the candidates will count for a lot more and MPs will listen to their constituents a lot more.

    If a government is messing up badly enough, it will see its majority shrink every week.
  5. They already are well paid. Their basic salary of £65k puts them in the top 1% of all earners. Not bad for a job where there is a queue of applicants for every vacancy.

    There are a minority, like Ming Campbell, who have given up highly paid careers to go into politics but the majority are lobby fodder. Consider the former careers and likely current salaries of some well known MPs:-

    Gordon Brown - University lecturer - £40k
    Gorbals Mick - Spot welder - would be on the dole by now
    Alan Johnson - Postman - £15k
    Jacqui Smith - Teacher - £30k

    George Osborne - Freelance journalist - £30k
    Andrew Lansley - Junior civil servant - £30k
    Eric Pickles - NHS civil servant - £40k
    Caroline Spelman - Housewife/Charity worker - £0

    Nick Clegg - Trainee journalist - £20k
    Julia Goldsworthy - Council 'regeneration officer' - £40k
    Simon Hughes - Youth leader - £15k

    Next time an MP spouts the l'Oreal excuse ('Because I'm worth it'), try asking them how much they got in pay and expenses in their last job.
  6. Agreed A_M - MPs' are paid well enough!

    Some MPs' (perhaps many) think that they are hard done by as they try compare their jobs with top jobs in industry, however this shower have shown that the couldn't manage their own pocket money, never mind something as complicated as a household budget!

    As to the original question I think rolling elections could well be an improvement.
  7. I seem to remember a soundbite of "No reward for failure"
    As they have collectively screwed the country into the ground they should be getting a pay cut, just like the tens of thousands of the electorate who have been fukked over by bad management on the part of the government.
    All I hear is how MP's have been underpaid for years which is why it was necessary to rape the expenses system. I have news for them, they are not underpaid. They earn far more than the majority in this country.

    Whatsmore, nobody should be getting into politics for the money, thats what has gotten us into this mess in the 1st place. Money-grabbing, inept and dishonest. Sack all those with the vaguest hint of impropriety and give the rest a 20% paycut. If they don't like it then they can fukk off and get a proper job.

    When the country prospers and is adminisered in a proper fashion then we can discuss their pay. If they ever produce results then theymight be worthy of a payrise.
  8. How about basing MP's pay on what they were earning before they were elected, adjusted for inflation? That way skilled people will be willing to give up highly paid jobs to become MPs, while unemployable “political activists” get next to nothing.

    This would also tend to encourage experienced candidates, who have worked their way up the promotion ladder, and discourage the straight out of university types.

    There is a precedent for this in the way mobilised TA soldiers are paid.
  9. Not sure that rolling elections would be a good idea, the cost would be prohibitive.
    As for the argument that they don't earn enough when compared to the private sector, private sector faliures are sacked not moved to another comfy job, private sector pay for their pensions that are at risk and have the Chancellor take a piece of, private sector have always had to produce receipts for everything and justify it.
  10. Why do you think that rolling elections would cost too much?

    The cost of administrating an election in a constituency, is the same regardless of what is happening elsewhere in the country.

    Granted it would be prohibitively expensive for the parties to keep running national advertising campaigns. But that is one of the aims, I want the election to be local and more about the candidate than the party.
  11. Of course politics on the cheap is part of the problem, if you want decent government like decent justice it costs, and if you don't pay then you deserve the crap you end up with.
  12. Between the Lord Chancellor's £300 a roll wallpaper and the subsidised steak dinners at £2 a head in the member's restaurant, Parliament costs over half a billion quid a year to run. That's nearly a million pounds for each MP that we elect or about six thousand pounds per MP for each day that Parliament sits!

    As Dave said, we have more Parliamentarians on the gravy train than any other country in the world except China. I think we pay more than enough to get a decent service. Instead we end up subsidising 'ghosts' like George Galloway and the 6 Sinn Fein MPs that never turn up.

    Meanwhile, the rest of them treat Parliament like a university debating society. There was, apparently, no time to debate the Nuclear Safeguards Bill so it was guillotined. Plenty of time for an early day motion about the welfare of farmed rabbits though.
  13. Ord_Sgt

    Ord_Sgt RIP

    Which is a bit of flawed thinking - its only recently MPs were paid at all. Arguable now we're paying them they have become mediocre at best.
  14. Both you and AM display the point admirably, it is not about how much we pay our MPs but how much we invest in the whole process, if bi-annual elections keeps them on their toes and honest, are they too expensive.

    Paying them nothing or minimally only resulted in getting part time MPs, Churchill was a part time MP for most of his life, he was for ever writing books and doing lecture tours to e\rn the money he needed, was that the best value we could have got. just think if the nation had had his full attention.

    Just think, the UK parliament decided to have devolution, but only paid for it to happen in Scotland, Walees and Ireland, so we now have the UK parliament working part time as the English parliament but with all the UK MPs there. Of course it causes problems, could it be avoided of course it could, but we are too bloody mean to sort it, just as we have been too mean to sort out the problems of how we pay MPs and give them the tools to do their job properly.

    Whilst I in no way want to take away blaim from thiose who have abused the system as many have, but we are part of the problem too.

    Right at the moment no one in their right mind would want to be an MP and get all the abuse that is being heaped on them be they decent and honest or not. But we really do want a new generation of honest decent people to come forward, and that means we need an honest decent and fair system of both rewarding them personally, and covering the costs involved in doing what we want them to do.
  15. The lack of an English parliament is nothing to do with money. It is that an English Parliament would be Conservative controlled and so is unacceptable to Labour.

    On pay, the problem is that the current parliament has negative value, so if we paid MPs on performance, they would have to pay us for the privilege of being MPs. If you can find a way to guarantee good performance, I have no objection to paying them more. However, just paying the current scum more will not improve their performance.