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Should MP's be paid more?

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Introduction

Should MP's be paid more? The furore and fury over the recent and continuing MP's expenses scandal has given rise to a never-ending stream of questions from the electorate, probing the who, what, why and where of British politics. Particular questions have arisen enquiring into the causes which led to the abuse of the allowances system, one of which asks whether MP's salary, or perhaps lack of, is to blame for the unsatisfactory political system in the eyes of the British public. Opinion is strong and varied and high-profile debates have raged between the media, the public and politicians themselves. On the one hand it is easy to see how an increase in MP's pay would result in the abolishment of the out-dated allowances system, allowing greater transparency and fostering greater respect and trust in politicians. From another angle, a pay increase would attract a higher calibre of candidate, better qualified to do the highly professional and skilled job that being a Member of Parliament is, but also reward them with a salary in line with other as executive jobs in the private and public sector. A healthier pay check would also discourage MP's from looking to second job for funds, yet another aspect voters find dispiriting. Alternatively, a pay rise would be insensitive and out of line with the current climate, where high unemployment rates and job cuts are habitual, especially taking into consideration their already generous pay and extensive holidays. ...read more.

Middle

MP's in the long-term, by attracting and rewarding them by a pay comparable to a job of similar hours and commitment, i.e. GP's and secondary school head teachers. The electorate have also become disillusioned due to the nature of MP's second jobs, many of which require long hours and provide more substantial pay than that of a representative. Many MP's feel this second job helps to 'bump' up their salary, which at times in inadequate to cover living costs. This leads to compromised quality of work, as even backbench MP's with no other job report having implausible amounts of work to do, as a representative of a constituency, as a member of a committee, as a member of a political party, as a member of the executive, and many more roles beside. It is unrealistic to expect MP's to complete all these tasks to the best of their abilities whilst holding down another job, as is the case of Alan Duncan. If MP's were paid more, there would be no need for them to have another job and would therefore improve the quality of service we obtain from our elected representatives. However, a pay rise is arguable unrealistic and hedonistic. Whilst both public and private sector workers alike are asked to take pay rises below-inflation or to work for free, as is the case with British Airways, it is unfeasible to even consider a pay rise for MP's who frankly do ...read more.

Conclusion

Scandals would just emerge in different areas of politics, as is the case even today; funding, expenses, personal; all are still evident despite attempts to subdue them. The public would still be wary of politicians just for another reason, and perhaps a simple pay rise doesn't target the real root of the problem. In conclusion, I believe that MP's salary should not increase as it would never solve the problem of public distrust as the expenses scandal is not a standalone event. I believe politician's reputations have been damaged over the years, for good reasons, and this was just the metaphorical cherry on the cake for the electorate and I believe that real change, to change the fundamental workings of our political system are needed as cracks are beginning to appear. I also believe that scandal will always be apparent in politics, because politics and power come hand in hand, and unfortunately scandal will always be an unwanted tag along but more should be done to make the system transparent for the public. Also it is not as simple as comparing an MP's workload to that of another job. MP's are doing a public service, and should bear that in mind whilst working. Although salary is important, I believe it is important people do not go into politics for the money, not only will they be disappointed, I think it leads to the type of people who think it's morally 'OK' to take advantage of taxpayer's money. ?? ?? ?? ?? Aamena Lala Politics Mrs Parker ...read more.

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