“Look at the quality of MPs we get. Pay peanuts, get monkeys” – readers react to news of a pay increase for MPs

It was recently announced that all MPs are set to receive a £2,200 pay rise in April, as a result of their ‘dramatically increased duties’ over the past year.

Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 3:56 pm

This will mean that their base salary will rise from £81,932 to £84,144 so as to match last year’s average public sector pay increases, according to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which sets their pay. Ipsa is a public body that was set up as a result of the Parliamentary expenses scandal in 2009, and is responsible for setting the salary levels of all MPs.

The parliamentary pay increase comes at a time where the rest of the nation is facing tax hikes, as well as rising fuel and living costs as well. We asked our readers what they thought of the pay increase and whether they thought it should have gone ahead. Here are a selection of their comments:

Bjorn Martin shared his views, “Controversial opinion but absolutely 100% yes. MP Salary - £81k FTSE 100 company CEO - £2.7m. Pay peanuts and all that. I have absolutely no problem with people being paid very well for doing a great job. BUT, the key is accountability, no 2nd jobs, no holding stocks and investments in companies.”

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson updates MPs in the House of Commons in London on the latest situation regarding Ukraine. Picture date: Tuesday February 22, 2022. PA Photo. Boris Johnson has announced sanctions against five Russian banks and three "very high net wealth" individuals under his "first barrage" of measures over the Ukrainian incursion. See PA story Politics Ukraine. Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Neil Butler believes that we get what we pay for, “Yes. Look at the quality of MPs we get. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Of course £82k is not peanuts to the vast majority of people, but for high achievers or senior management, its ridiculously low. 21 year old Oxbridge graduates can have starting salaries of £95k. Lidl Store Managers earn £58k in London. We want to encourage the brightest and the best. How often can we see that in our MPs? Comparing a Nurse to an MP is crazy. Of course Nurses deserve a medal, they are very skilled, compassionate and extremely hard working, but is anyone seriously suggesting that we can compare the pay of seven hundred thousand nurses to seven hundred odd MPs? I wouldn't want that job, would you? Not living at home, everyone looking at your business, and it doesn't matter which party you support, half of your constituents literally hate you. I'd double or treble the salary. Look at Boris. What an incompetent fool, but who else has the charisma and leadership for the job. Where is his competition?”

The majority of responses that followed tended to be a firm and resolute ‘No’ when it came to even considering a pay rise for MPs.

Carl Smith does not agree with the pay rise, “No, we will stand on our doorsteps and clap for them. After all, that was good enough for our NHS.”

One of the comments that received a number of thumbs up in agreement came from Richard Cherry, who said, “No give it to the NHS staff they deserve it.”

Emma Martin’s response showed how unhappy she was at the news, “Absolutely not! Where’s the NHS pay rise? Also thanks for the 3% council tax rise. Really helping.”

Denise Derrick is also not happy with announcement, “Not one of them should get a pay rise, it should be going back to the taxpayers.”

Maggie Desay added her thoughts, “Certainly not, we have had a rise in council tax, petrol is going through the roof and all food has gone up in price. All MPs get expenses so I don't think a pay increase is acceptable. I wonder if anyone has seen a poor MP?”

Darren Arthur replied saying, “Well, that's a big resounding NO but they will still award it to themselves.” In this case Darren, any and all payrises are actually awarded by the independent body Ipsa as noted above.

And, Robin Northcut says that, “Any pay rise should be the same as the public sector pay increases.”

Over on Twitter, Shadylady added her views, “Not at the moment. Prices are rocketing for everything, wages aren't matching it. It's distasteful that politicians are getting a pay rise during the present situation.”

This take was followed by Esseff69 who tweeted the following, “Is that a trick question, or a joke, or both?”

And AdamUpton20 replied saying, “There is no reason why they should be getting a pay rise. They have expenses, second homes, 80 thousand pound salaries and accept donation, unbelievable.”

Meanwhile Stuart Dodd seems to have had enough, “Why not....the world's going to hell in a handcart anyway.”

Philip Garner was not mincing his words with his response, “2 words and the last One’s OFF, a pay rise, for doing what?”

Finally, Kathryn Elizabeth had her say, adding, “I'm sure you know what the overwhelming majority will say to that!! I say a big fat "no" it's immoral for them to get one the way they have behaved and the dire situation our country is in.”

It’s clear from the responses that the majority of people were completely against the idea of MPs receiving a pay rise, particularly at a time when most of the nation is being negatively impacted by the rising cost of living, council tax hikes, a National Insurance contributions increase, as well as vastly rising fuel bills with no sign of when things will get better. In short, people are very unhappy and it’s painfully clear from many of the responses.