How to set MPs’ salaries

Parliamentarians should not wriggle out of the responsibility for setting fair salaries and allowances for themselves. With some MPs wanting to accept the recommendations of IPSA, the independent body established to set their wages, and others determined not to accept them, the result is clearly a bugger’s muddle.

The problem with the old system was that MPs set salaries for themselves, rather than for their successor Parliament. Were they only to fix the salaries, allowances and expenses for the Parliament that would follow them, members who were standing for re-election might have to bear in mind the effect on their prospects should they support excessive proposals. All candidates would know in advance the terms of their “contract” and could not seek increases once elected.

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