MP’s – We need to stop putting them on pedestal and on high wages/expenses

I was taken by this article about how the political system works in Sweden (see link below) as it fits well with my own views about how we in the UK pour far too much money into our MP’s pockets!

We have in effect put MP’s on a pedestal and made them a political elite disconnected from our real world. In turn this has created professional politicians with a sense of entitlement who govern in the interests of their political parties rather than the interests of the UK.

Despite all the hype around the MP’s expenses scandal of a few years ago little has actually changed – they’re paid too much, allowed to claim too much in expenses, have far too may assistants paid for by the public purse.

Unless we learn from the likes of Sweden we will continue to governed poorly and expensively.

5 thoughts on “MP’s – We need to stop putting them on pedestal and on high wages/expenses

  1. Alison Willott says:

    Please don’t continue the hype perpetrated by the media against MPs. What you have written is simply not true. The Swedes, it says, pay their MPs about twice a teachers’s salary. Here, average teacher’s salary is £30K, MPs get £68K, so not that different. They get reasonable expenses, not outrageous. As I recall (and it may have gone up somewhat), they get about £60K p.a. ‘expenses’ for their office costs: this covers their constituency office rent, utilities bills, salary of a full-time PA, part-time caseworkers etc. In many constituencies, especially urban ones, the casework load can be huge. That’s not “far too many assistants paid for by the public purse”. They don’t get official cars or drivers, and use public transport or their own car. Living in tiny apartments, as apparently the Swedes do, sounds nice and cheap, but what about female MPs with family? Can’t they have their children with them in London? It is difficult enough already being a young female MP, never mind if you get pregnant or have children. And why shouldn’t male MPs have their families with them if they wish? Too many MPs have faced family break-up because of their difficult life. Don’t think it is a sinecure dashing up to London for 4 days a week, then back to base for Friday, where you hold a weekly surgery, then visiting various constituency places on the Saturday and liaising with local party meetings on Sundays. Committed MPs work about 70 hours a week when Parliament is sitting, and 40 hours during recess. The MP for Kettering came out best for Parly expenses, as they were so low. Why? Because he had no constituency office, no PA, no phone number, and his constituents were not easily able to contact him. We Deserve Better. The distrust felt by the public against politicians has been whipped up by the media with appalling results and opinion pieces like this perpetuate it. Most MPs, whatever their party, go into this difficult way of life out of a sense of public commitment, and they work extremely hard. The work done on Select Committees is excellent, and MPs do a lot of good in their constituencies. Obviously you will get bad apples, just the same as you do amongst lawyers, doctors, teachers, priests, garage-owners, builders, plumbers, whatever….. but please stop saying we are governed expensively, as it isn’t true for ordinary MPs.

    • You raise some interesting and legitimate points here Alison but I remain of the view that MP’s are too distant from the communities they represent and that what they are paid is in part the cause of this. My other solution, which I did not make reference to in my original posting, is that I would like to see all employees of MP’s being civil servants. I think this would help to ensure they not only were independent of party politics but were seen to be so too.

  2. Alison Willott says:

    Please could you tell me why you have not published my reply?

  3. Roy Connell says:

    The basic salary for an MP as of the 1/4/2019 is £79,468.

    Just googled it.

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