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Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

There's a good idea buried in here.

The idea of paying MPs even more than they get already in return for them stopping taking the piss on expenses is not going to be popular, especially not when it's associated with someone like Gordon Brown.
MPs are to be offered a pay rise to make up for a loss of income from expenses claims under plans drawn up by Gordon Brown to quell a growing back-bench rebellion.
The Prime Minister is desperate to avoid a Commons mutiny over next month’s report by Sir Christopher Kelly, which is expected to sweep away many of the MPs’ allowances.
So he's unable to control his own MPs, who in turn are unable to restrain their compulsion to feather their nests courtesy of the taxpayer's wallet. As has been pointed many time before in various blogs and articles there is no justification for a pay rise when every available job is being contested by at least half a dozen candidates from various parties, each of whom had to beat several other people just to be a candidate at all. All this crap we keep hearing about the money needing to be high enough to attract quality people into the job is complete bollocks - when there are at least a couple of dozen people after each and every job there is certainly no need to up the pay.

However, there was one thing mentioned that makes a lot of sense.
Under Mr Brown’s plan, any rise in an MP’s basic salary of £64,766 would be paid for by a reduction in ministers’ wages. Currently, 98 MPs serve as members of the Government, earning between £96,000 and £197,000. If they took a £20,000 pay cut, it would save almost £2 million and mean all 646 MPs could be paid around £3,000 more without further cost to the taxpayer.
Well, I already knew there were far more people in the government than necessary. Nearly 100 of the 356 Labour MPs are on the government payroll - more than a quarter. And all on salaries ranging from nearly 50% to more than triple the already handsome £64K they get as an MP. Reducing the difference might produce Ministers who are more inclined to act on principle than toe the Government line, which isn't a million miles off something suggested in The Plan. Still, the idea of MPs getting more money isn't going to fly very well post expenses scandal, and if Gordon thinks there'll be votes in it he's crazier than we all thought.

However, there is something close to a good idea in there. Why should the cost of Government keep going up and up and up just because the Prime Minister of the day can create more and more Ministerial positions? Half the time it seems like jobs for the boys, either the people who supported the PM in the contest to lead their party and who expect their backs to be scratched in return, or people who didn't and might become challengers in the future, or just plain old fashioned mates. So how about this for an idea: fix the cost of the executive's wage bill? Let's be generous and call it £10 million to start with, index linked (to the official inflation figure so that there's a disincentive to keep bullshitting about that). That can be 100 x £100,000 or 50 x £200,000 or 20 x £500,000 or whatever - they can sort it out themselves. If the PM needs to grease more palms with the salary and perks even better than that of 'ordinary' MPs that's fine, but since the pot gets no bigger everybody else's salary has to shrink. Give too many people nice Whitehall offices and they'd actually end up getting less than they would as an MP. The only downside I can think of is that you'd know that the cunts would rarely, if ever, use less than the £10 million, but I can't see an obvious way around that. Keeping who gets what in the public domain might tend to reward PMs who keep the bill down but before long I think the shites will revert to type and go for all they can get. Still, as imperfect as it is it's better than the way things are now. The bastards seem to like the idea of capping this, that and the other, so why not apply one to themselves?
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