James Max: ‘I don’t think MPs are paid enough’

Friday, March 6, 2020

talkRADIO’s James Max has said Members of Parliament deserve higher salaries after it was announced that they will receive a pay rise of 3.1 per cent from April this year.

The increase will raise MPs’ basic pay from £79,468 to £81,932 from April 1 – the first time it has exceeded £80,000.

But James claimed that the UK has got the public sector pay system “totally and completely wrong”.

He said: “We are expecting these people to govern us, to come up with good legislation, to have integrity, to have leadership skills and yet we pay them this amount of money – you may think it’s a lot of money, I don’t.

“We have to have a proper conversation in this country about what pay means, what we should pay people.

“We have chief executives of local councils on hundreds of thousands of pounds. Are you telling me that a chief executive of a local council, who by the way is accountable to no one, is worth more than a Member of Parliament?”

MPs set their own pay and it is then reviewed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

IPSA’s interim chair Richard Lloyd said: “Our review of MPs’ staffing budgets in 2019 found demands on MPs’ offices were high, with staff doing difficult and stressful casework with constituents on a very wide range of problems.

“There was often high staff turnover, with salary levels below comparable roles elsewhere, based on independent benchmarked evidence.”

Cabinet Office figures show in 2019 the Prime Minister was entitled to a second salary of £79,286, while senior ministers including the Chancellor and Secretaries of State were entitled to up to £71,090.

The salaries actually claimed were approximately £4,000 less than their full entitlement.

The Attorney General is entitled to one of the highest salaries in government, at £98,921 in April 2019.

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