Friday, 6 November 2009

MPs' expenses scandal is a product of economic inequality

The MPs expenses scandal is all about economic inequality. It would never have happened if MPs hadn't been trying to 'earn' as much as others such as headmasters, managers, etc.
For narrowly political reasons, MPs were reluctant to award themselves salary increases. So for years they covertly took 'pay increases' via the route of massive expenses packages.
MPs should not earn way more than the average salaried person that they represent. This is totally inappropriate, because it leads to MPs getting out of touch with their constituents.
But equally, it is dangerous for MPs to earn far less than similar or lower status professionals and private sector workers. If they do, it risks us losing some talented would-be-MPs to these other professions, and it increases the risk of MPs becoming corrupt - being easier to bribe.
So, we are in a cleft stick. But we wouldn't be, in a more equal society.
We need a society where MPs can be paid the average salary in their constituency or at least in their society without that being way less than headmasters, managers etc earn. In other words: we need a much more equal society.
There is no other way in which we can have the kind of MPs we want and need without at some point having a repeat of the expenses scandal...

1 Comments:

Blogger Ruth said...

I couldn't agree more, Rupert.

I also think it puts more pressure on public sector managerial and executive positions in general to be paid more highly so as to "compete" with the private sector when that money should be far better spent on providing better services.

6 November 2009 at 12:01  

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The MPs expenses scandal is all about economic inequality. It would never have happened if MPs hadn't been trying to 'earn' as much as others such as headmasters, managers, etc.
For narrowly political reasons, MPs were reluctant to award themselves salary increases. So for years they covertly took 'pay increases' via the route of massive expenses packages.
MPs should not earn way more than the average salaried person that they represent. This is totally inappropriate, because it leads to MPs getting out of touch with their constituents.
But equally, it is dangerous for MPs to earn far less than similar or lower status professionals and private sector workers. If they do, it risks us losing some talented would-be-MPs to these other professions, and it increases the risk of MPs becoming corrupt - being easier to bribe.
So, we are in a cleft stick. But we wouldn't be, in a more equal society.
We need a society where MPs can be paid the average salary in their constituency or at least in their society without that being way less than headmasters, managers etc earn. In other words: we need a much more equal society.
There is no other way in which we can have the kind of MPs we want and need without at some point having a repeat of the expenses scandal...

30. 31. 32.