Sunday, December 08, 2013

So who wants to be an MP then?

So the next Westminster elections are less than 18 months away and I fully expect there to be huge queues of people lining up to stand. Political parties will have to hold auditions on the scale of X Factor to whittle down their candidates, whilst there will be more independent candidates than you can shake a stick at (whatever that means!).

Well it is after all a doddle of a job, with an enormous salary and endless expenses, full of glitz and glamour so why wouldn’t there be any number of people ready to take it on?

Ok so there is a high degree of responsibility, you are in the public eye, get little or no thanks from anyone, have to take endless flak about how useless / money grabbing / crocked you and your colleagues all are. You spend every week split between your constituency and London which doesn’t make for a great family life.

But you get paid a huge salary - £65,738 – maybe as much as the Deputy Head of your local secondary school, half as much as a Group Director in RCT Council, a couple of hundred pounds a year more than the Head of Strategy and PR there. How outrageous is that?  Surely everyone will be fighting for such a job.

Of course there are genuine perks and if you are minded to then you can abuse the system, and if you are lucky and you are, say, a Labour in the valleys heartlands then the electorate will ignore all transgressions and vote you back in regardless.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have announced that they think MPs should be given a 11% pay rise following the 2015 election, this will take the basic salary to £74,000. 

All three main parties have condemned the announcement saying that it is inappropriate at this time to think of such a thing. However, the public – and indeed the media – only tend to take what they want out of such stories and so MPs will take another battering and public confidence in the system will drop again leading to more apathy. 

So, who’s going to be lining up and putting their head above the parapet in 2015 then?  Doubt if we will be caught in the rush.

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