MPs are to get a 1.5% pay rise, taking their salaries to just shy of £65,000. To predictable outcry from some sectors of the civil service, the increase has been denounced, on the basis that if the average government worker is receiving nothing extra, why should MPs. Which is fair enough, until you realise that the 1.5% is based on an average of 15 other public sector groups’ increase.
But why should anyone in government, MPs or otherwise, be getting any pay rise? When most private sector workers are receiving nothing extra, or in some cases taking pay cuts or enforced reductions in hours, the government sector should move away from their position of having an automatic right to annual salary uplifts.
The next government needs to break this cycle of yearly rises without any associated improvement in productivity. But this is not helped when the MPs themselves feel that they are also justified in getting a raise, and the case is also subverted when party leaders try to water down proposals to reform changes to politicians’ expenses.