MPs’ pay: 63% of Lib Dem members back IPSA’s proposal

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 750 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Currently MPs receive a salary of £65,738, have a generous final salary pension scheme, and receive a resettlement grant of around £30,000 if they stand down or are defeated at an election. The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is proposing MPs receive a one-off uplift in basic salary to £74k which will then increase at the same rate as annual earnings, a standard pension scheme, and a much smaller resettlement grant restricted to MPs who are defeated at election. The changes will not cost any more than the existing system. Do you support or oppose IPSA’s proposal?

    63% – Support

    24% – Oppose

    6% – Don’t know

    7% – Other

So almost two-thirds of Lib Dem members support IPSA’s proposed reform to MPs’ remuneration, with just under one-quarter opposed. Many of those who selected ‘Other’ supported the package in principle but thought now is not the time to implement it. Many of you also used it as a comments field – so here’s a selection of your views…

• Support in principle but this is the wrong time
• If we want MPs to be more representative, they need to be paid well, and the election process needs to be less expensive for candidates.
• Increase rate with annual earnings start from the present level; keep the redundancy pay; reduce pension plan.
• support an increase in their salaries, but feel the increase is not right at this time
• They have not had a pay rise for years
• OK in principle but should be accompanied by a radical review of expenses entitlement. e.g no housing allowance for MP’s representing constituencies within daily commuting distance of Westminster. non-government commuters don’t get it why should MP’s
• I support it, but now is the wrong time as it has not been fully explained
• Happy for the pay increase, but not until Civil Service and public sector pay starts growing again. MP’s as leaders should not ask people to do things they are not willing to do themselves
• Support in principle, but it would be difficult to justify this in current economic circumstances.
• Timing. It is the right thing to do but absolutely the wrong time to do it.
• support in principle but the time is not right.
• Support – but the raise should be post dated while the resettlement etc should come into force now.
• It may be right but it is the wrong time to propose it.
• Support with 2 strict conditions. (1) Scrap public sector pay freeze (currently 1%) (2) MPS should foresake ALL outside earnings (eg directorship salies) whilst being an MP
• Good Mps are worth their weight in gold, BUT this parliament has sacked its loyal staff, belittled them as benefit scroungers, teased them with tax reductions for employed people, cut the buses, made it almost compulsory for them to buy and maintain computers if they want to get a job, and at the same time allowed executive pay to increase in peas and bounds. They have brought shame on themselves and really should not get paid a penny at his stage.
• MPs’ salary plus benefits should be tied to UK median incomes
• I support it for the most part, but unfortunately it will only lead to more hatred of the political system.
• In normal times I would support it, but these are not normal times

  • 1,500 Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 749 responded to the latest survey, which was conducted between 14th and 18th December.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Stephen was Editor (and Co-Editor) of Liberal Democrat Voice from 2007 to 2015, and writes at The Collected Stephen Tall.

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    4 Comments

    • peter tyzack 2nd Jan '14 - 1:22pm

      There is never a ‘right time’ for MPs to raise their salaries(or councillors their allowances), but the point is that this is not about giving the current bunch a pay rise but about setting a fair rate of pay for the next lot.
      With it must come a job description and conditions of service; constituency offices and London accommodation funded and administered by a parliamentary resources dept; and MPs staff paid and managed as civil servants not as political lackeys. The status quo has lost sight of what it is there for…

    • Liberal Neil 2nd Jan '14 - 2:04pm

      The basic MPs’ salary should be clearly tied to another salary level so that neither they not IPSA have to make these sorts of decisions.

      Personally I’d set it at twice the median full time salary – clear recognition that the role of a backbench MP is an important one, but not so high that they will be seen to be out of touch. It also means that, in broad terms, their fortunes will rise and fall with those of the general population.

      I’d take a similar approach with pensions, accommodation etc., MPs should get broadly the same arrangements as other full time workers – and I would move all parliamentary staff salaries to Parliament rather than calling them ‘expenses’.

    • Nicholas Pye-Smith 4th Jan '14 - 11:38am

      I think Peter Tyzack has got it exactly right in his comment above.

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