by Stephen Tall on January 2, 2014
Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.
Currently MPs receive a salary of £65,738, have a generous final salary pension scheme, and receive a resettlement grant of around £30,000 if they stand down or are defeated at an election. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is proposing MPs receive a one-off uplift in basic salary to £74k which will then increase at the same rate as annual earnings, a standard pension scheme, and a much smaller resettlement grant restricted to MPs who are defeated at election. The changes will not cost any more than the existing system. Do you support or oppose IPSA’s proposal?
63% – Support
24% – Oppose
6% – Don’t know
7% – Other
So almost two-thirds of Lib Dem members support IPSA’s proposed reform to MPs’ remuneration, with just under one-quarter opposed. Many of those who selected ‘Other’ supported the package in principle but thought now is not the time to implement it. Many of you also used it as a comments field – so here’s a selection of your views…
• Support in principle but this is the wrong time
• If we want MPs to be more representative, they need to be paid well, and the election process needs to be less expensive for candidates.
• Increase rate with annual earnings start from the present level; keep the redundancy pay; reduce pension plan.
• support an increase in their salaries, but feel the increase is not right at this time
• They have not had a pay rise for years
• OK in principle but should be accompanied by a radical review of expenses entitlement. e.g no housing allowance for MP’s representing constituencies within daily commuting distance of Westminster. non-government commuters don’t get it why should MP’s
• I support it, but now is the wrong time as it has not been fully explained
• Happy for the pay increase, but not until Civil Service and public sector pay starts growing again. MP’s as leaders should not ask people to do things they are not willing to do themselves
• Support in principle, but it would be difficult to justify this in current economic circumstances.
• Timing. It is the right thing to do but absolutely the wrong time to do it.
• support in principle but the time is not right.
• Support – but the raise should be post dated while the resettlement etc should come into force now.
• It may be right but it is the wrong time to propose it.
• Support with 2 strict conditions. (1) Scrap public sector pay freeze (currently 1%) (2) MPS should foresake ALL outside earnings (eg directorship salies) whilst being an MP
• Good Mps are worth their weight in gold, BUT this parliament has sacked its loyal staff, belittled them as benefit scroungers, teased them with tax reductions for employed people, cut the buses, made it almost compulsory for them to buy and maintain computers if they want to get a job, and at the same time allowed executive pay to increase in peas and bounds. They have brought shame on themselves and really should not get paid a penny at his stage.
• MPs’ salary plus benefits should be tied to UK median incomes
• I support it for the most part, but unfortunately it will only lead to more hatred of the political system.
• In normal times I would support it, but these are not normal times
* Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.