Hard to justify suggested pay rise for current crop of MPs

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From: Barrie Frost, Watson’s Lane, Reighton, Filey.

I UNDERSTAND Tom Richmond’s view (Yorkshire Post, December 14) that the position of an MP should be far better paid and agree if the correct person could be found this should be so, but we haven’t found such people and don’t seem likely to do so with current arrangements. I do not agree that our present MPs deserve or can justify the suggested increases proposed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

The position as an MP should be occupied by a person of very high ability and talent; a highly educated person with qualifications and practical experiences suitable for addressing Britain’s current position, and more than the law degree which seems to be the obligatory qualification today; an abundance of common sense and the desire to use such assets for the benefit of the country and the electorate. People who could satisfy such criteria should be very well paid and their high pay would not attract any criticism.

However, simply offering huge rewards, almost indiscriminately, does not attract talent, but seems to have an opposite affect.

When I began my working life, working hard and achieving success came first and were the requisites for receiving a rise in salary.

Now it seems the reverse logic is applied – receive high pay first and hope success follows. The obscene rewards of bankers, hospital managers, BBC executives, police chiefs, to name only a few, provide very clear examples that such perverse logic doesn’t work and may actually encourage failure.

How can this system be altered? Is there some way that a new MP would start ‘at the bottom’ with a very decent salary, but with the possibility of substantial increases for success, application and hard work, like any other employee in industry? Does giving them all the same salary provide the necessary incentives?

Currently, once elected, the candidate loses individuality and in most instances becomes party voting fodder. No longer are the reasons for the constituents voting for him valid, he now becomes a voting unit for his party.

The belief that our MPs are still underpaid – irrespective of whether the EU has lessened Westminster’s workload and responsibilities, is difficult to understand.

If any business in Britain employed up to double the number of people necessary, in a similar way to the employment of MPs, they simply would not be able to pay for such excessive over staffings.

Why didn’t Ipsa recommend a reduction in the number of MPs in parliament? Why are MPs seen as a ‘special case’?

When the often-used statement ‘we are all in this together’ is made, I am puzzled by just who ‘we’ are in this statement. Can anyone enlighten me?

From: David Downs, Mountbatten Avenue, Sandal, Wakefield.

I am in total disagreement with the majority of letter writers who are against increases in MPs’ salaries: politicians who are genuinely committed to their responsibilities should be paid salaries in line with those of head teachers, doctors, police commissioners and their likes. However, an 11 per cent increase should be compensated by at least a similar percentage reduction in the number of MPs.

Some MPs say they are working 80 hours a week yet, with the exception of Prime Minister’s Question Time, the House is almost empty. We had a chance, earlier in this Parliament, to achieve a reduction but the proposal was withdrawn because of the political pettiness of the Liberal Democrats. Parliament should authorise an investigation into its productivity and a award salaries commensurate with the outcome.