Monday, 1 July 2013

IPSA's mouth-wateringly high salaries point to a skewed debate about MPs' pay

The public ought to be aware that senior staff at IPSA itself are paid far in excess of an MP's salary of £66,396. IPSA Chair Sir Ian Kennedy is paid £182,000 pro rata (£700 per day). If MPs were to be paid this amount, it would equate to a 174% increase in pay, not the 10-15% being talked of. Other key staff are paid salaries of well over £100,000.

Looking at the salaries of other senior IPSA staff, as listed on this IPSA document, is also revealing.
  • Chief Exec of IPSA, Andrew McDonald is paid £105,000-£110,000. If MPs received a rise to that level it'd be 66% rise. 
  • Philip Mabe, 'Acting Director of Finance and Corporate Services' is paid £100,000-£105,000. Were MPs' pay to rise to this level, it would have risen by 58%
  • John Sills, who's listed as Director of Policy & Communications, is paid £85,000-£90,000. If MPs' pay reached this amount their salaries would have risen by 35.5%
Despite the moral crisis being whipped up by leading media commentators and government ministers (most of whom are paid far more than MPs), the public must consider very carefully whether they want their MPs, whose hugely important job of representing constituents, holding the government and others to account, and scrutinising law, should be paid considerably less than the bureaucrats making the recommendation about their salaries.

Democracy and respect for the parliamentary process are not enhanced by insisting that MPs are paid less than a middle-ranking bureaucrat at a town council. If you don't believe me about this last statement, just take a look at the pay on offer for people with job titles like 'Director of Business Strategy' (£90,000) or 'Executive Director, Adult Services and Public Health' (£118,884 to £129,201) at Guardian Jobs.

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CALCULATION RE SIR IAN KENNEDY, CHAIR OF IPSA: 

  • His rate of pay is listed as £700 per day (see IPSA's website here)
  • To calculate his approximate annual salary pro rata based upon the above document listing his daily rate as £700, use this salary calculator: Enter £182,000 and you'll see a £700 daily pay rate shown.

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