Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Why MPs can easily live on £67,000 per year (when so many people live on far less)

Recently, Conservative MP Malcolm Rifkind, who after being caught in a sting operation by Channel Four will stand down as MP for Kensington (not Kensington and Chelsea, as some broadcasters have erroneously stated; Kensington and Chelsea was actually abolished via boundary changes in 2010; Chelsea was moved to Chelsea and Fulham in those boundary changes) claimed that it was 'unrealistic for MPs to live on £67,000 per year' (the current salary for all United Kingdom MPs)

His remark only shows how out of touch he, and many other MPs (prominent MPs with very lucrative second jobs include Edward Garnier, Conservative MP for Harborough, and former Labour PM Gordon Brown, who is standing down from Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath this year) is with the people of Britain-the average wage is only £26,000 per year, and due to the serious income inequalities that exist within Britain the majority earn less than this average rather than more. With £67,000 per year, a person easily could do (some or all of) the following and still get by:

1. Save up to buy a large enough house outright rather than just saving up to put a deposit on a mortgage for a house.
2. Buy a small flat (in the North of England, at least) by saving up for as little as 18 months to 2 years (at least if they were single or were part of a childless couple)
3. Set up a considerable trust fund and/or inheritance for their children over a long period of time (as long as the earner did not overspend; being lucky enough to earn more money than most should not excuse you from self-sacrifice)
4. Move to a more rural area and grow organic food for their family so that they can live off the land and not have to buy from supermarkets.

Furthermore,if the railways and other types of public transport were renationalised and if energy was brought back into public hands, living on an MP's salary alone would be easier still since the then-publicly owned utilities would lower travel costs and energy costs for everyone who used them.

Also, two MPs have proved it is possible to live on considerably less than the Parliamentary salary and still serve their constituents well-former Labour MPs Dave Nellist and Terry Fields, who famously only took the wage of skilled workers at the time whilst in Parliament. This is a good time to remind MPs that they are there to serve constituents and discuss what laws are best for the people of the United Kingdom, not to merely excessively indulge themselves at our expense.

Alan.



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