Should MPs be paid more? We asked top entrepreneurs

This week Nigel Farage said MPs’ pay should be increased to £100,000.

We asked these top entrepreneurs what they thought.

Pip Witheridge, Groveis:

“MPs should surely want to be an MP because it is where their passion and gifts collide and for a sense of duty to serve their country and constituents and not because of financial rewards, which at those levels is 4x the national average wage.

Sam Clark, Experience Travel Group:

“It’s public service and should be connected to the average wage – giving MPs an incentive to work at raising everyone’s wage. The reality is that a tiny percentage of people earn more than £100,000 a year and we don’t want MPs joining that disconnected, self-congratulatory, ‘bubble’.  MPs are elected to represent the entire population. Four times the average wage would be much too much.  The idea that an ever raising salary for high officials compared to the bulk of the population produces better results all over is demonstrably false: see banking industry, NHS, local Councils and the entire corporate sector over the last 20 years.”

Jonathan Pulliunger, Schilthorn Capital:

“I believe that MPs wages should be based on the average income of their constituency.”

James Minter, Hannington Tame:

“Yes they should.  They work extremely hard and if it meant they didn’t claim expenses for duck houses then everyone would be a winner.”

John Waterhouse, The Network Collective:

“If we want the highest quality MPs, we should be prepared to pay for them. The UK government will spend £729bn in 2015.  Increasing MPs salaries to £100k will cost 0.003% of government spending.  If it helps them find 1% better value for money, or increase economic growth by 0.5%, that would be a huge return on the extra salary.”

Duncan Cheatle, The Supper Club:

“MPs work incredibly long hours, often away from home for extended periods.  If we want them to be effective and free of commercial conflicts we need to pay them an effective wage.  £100,000 is less than the private sector equivalent of what they’d receive for the capability and responsibility they for the most part demonstrate.”

Meeta Sahni, Maine-Tucker:

“I don’t think they should be, we work in the market and we know the value people bring. If we were going to break down their role, does it really justify a six/seven figure salary? No. Just as any MD or CEO of a business, MPs should be held accountable for budgetary and cultural successes of their constituencies, and perhaps a six figure salary could be justified based on pre-determined targets.”

Stephen Phillips, Tonic:

“Yes of course, these are senior people who have a big impact on how the country is run and so we need them to be appropriately compensated.”

Syd Nadim, Clock:

“Fairness seems to be a simple and intuitive concept. However in reality, and in certain situations, it’s rarely simple and is very subjective. In this situation it’s even further complicated because whilst we generally accept that market forces dictate how much people get paid, when it comes to public servants we also want to pay our MPs enough so that they’re not easily nobbled. We want a variety of expertise and experience influencing the governing of our country, not just the wealthy; £100k is a reasonable salary, but still not much when you think that England’s lack-lustre footballers earn 150 times that amount.”

Charlie Walker, Vivid:

“It’s rare that Nigel Farage and I agree on anything, but it’s an emphatic “yes” from me. Owning a successful UK recruitment business, I can say with confidence that were MPs to have equivalent levels of responsibility within the private sector then they would earn in excess of 100k. Yes, the holiday perks may be good, but circa 65k pay in return for displaying world-beating communication skills, working antisocial hours and debating hugely complex issues on behalf of constituents isn’t a fair market rate. Add to this the extensive local surgery work, weekly travel and the job insecurity of being an elected official and all of a sudden the proposal of a six-figure salary becomes more palatable.

“I am very aware that many public and private sector workers have felt the pinch regarding living standards since 2009. However, from a personal perspective, I also want Parliament to be as representative as possible across the income spectrum. Speaking privately to prospective parliamentary candidates, it’s clear that it is extremely challenging financially for those individuals whose constituencies lie outside the South East. With the recent (quite correct) scrutiny of expenses, many end up severely out of pocket after accounting for rent on second homes and travel. If we’re to restore the credibility of politicians amongst the electorate, do we really want a Parliament dominated by those from the middle and upper classes? Successful private sector organisations would never allow themselves to miss out on the best talent on the market- we must make sure that we do the same with our elected representatives.”

David Hart from Codegent:

“Yes - but only because we need to attract better people to be MPs. Although it feels counter-intuitive to reward an institution that has lost so much credibility amongst the voters, unless genuinely talented people see politics as a career where they can earn a comparable wage to good jobs elsewhere, then it will continue to fail the public. But with more salary has to come more accountability and commitment to work fully for their constituents. Voters should also have the right to recall their MPs if it turns out they are not doing the job they are being paid to do.”

What do you think? Should MPs be paid more? Let us know in the comments below

Or tweet me your thoughts @robynvinter

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Nigel Phelps

    MPs should definitely be paid £100,000 per annum BUT to qualify the following conditions should be met:
    Minimum age 35
    They must have a real world job
    There should only be 350 of them
    and
    The state should top up whatever they earn from their job to the £100,000 figure. If they earn more they get no more.
    plus they get no expenses unless on state business such as official overseas trips etc.

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