I do not think I have ever read of a more self-destructive suggestion that that put forward by MPs today that our salary as MPs should be increased by over 30%. Did not believe it to begin with. Sometimes you have to wonder about just how short sighted and 'out-of-touch' human beings can be. In fact this opinion is nothing to do with what an MP is 'worth'. Its about what an MP should be paid. There's a difference.
When I was first elected to represent Berriew on Montgomeryshire District Council, we were paid only a nominal 'attendance allowance'. For quite a while, I didn't bother to claim it. Representing my area was a privilege and an honour. It was accepted that there was a 'voluntary element' which gave satisfaction. When I was elected to a leading position on the Council, I began to claim my allowance - because I chose to do the job almost full-time. I've always claimed what I'm due ever since. Always considered myself lucky to be asked/chosen to do the various jobs I've done, and been happy with what I've been paid to do it. But to the real issue here.
Since the last election, most public sector workers have been as near as damn it on a pay freeze. They have had their pension entitlements reduced. Private sector workers on average have probably done even less well. These are big sacrifices, made necessary because of the mountainous debts that our nation is having to cope with. Previous Gov'ts maxed out the credit card, and its pay back time. There's been no discussion about what these jobs are 'worth'. And Parliament has just debated and approved a 1% limit on most benefit increases for years to come, irrespective of inflation levels. This was right and tough. Now it so happens that without discounting for a 'volunteer' element I reckon an MPs job is probably worth more than the current £65k when the comparison game is played. But there is the 'volunteer' element, which in my opinion is crucial. Being an MP is not a job for anyone who just wants to maximise income. Its a great job, and the current salary is just fine by me. And there is not a snowball's chance in H*** that this sort of increase will be approved anyway. So what on earth is all this about. Its just that a few MPs sat down and tried to think of something that would make us even more unpopular than we are. And they sure came up with a good one. Its not going to happen.