Home > Updates > MPs Make Themselves Richer Whilst Capping Benefits

MPs Make Themselves Richer Whilst Capping Benefits

In same week as the government disgracefully voted to make the poor poorer by voting for a cap on benefits MPs voted to raise their salary by, not to, by £20,000.

The survey showed that Members of Parliament said they deserved an £86,250 salary in an anonymous poll conducted by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa). Predictably, Conservative MPs were the most likely to believe they were underpaid, according to the results but I was disgusted by the overall vote pointing to a £20,000 (32%) increase. It is my understanding that the current salary for an MP is £65,738 and it is also my understanding that Labour MPs on average said their salary should be £77,322, an increase of around £12,000. They were right to take on the aforementioned benefit cap – though, quite frankly, what is Labour for if it is not to defend the working poor and unemployed from Tory muggers?

This shows, that our entire political elite is out of touch and plagued by arrogant self-interest, regardless of which of the three mainstream parties they own membership cards for.

I myself am a shopworker and Usdaw shop steward who, along with my members and colleagues, received a 2% pay rise last year so would find it unforgivable if MPs were to award themselves a 32% pay rise, especially considering other public sector workers, who like MPs are paid by the taxpayer, have suffered pay freezes, pay cuts, job losses and attacks on their pensions.

I have written to my local MP, Labour’s Nia Griffith asking how she voted and what her thoughts are on the issue. I don’t expect much of a reply but felt the need to challenge and ask the question as Nia is also part of the ‘Usdaw group of MPs’, although what their role is and what they actually do for Usdaw members is to me a mystery.

This is another nail in the coffin for any arguments for our trade unions to continue funding Labour. Our unions exist and take members money to fight for every possible improvement for working class people and this is impossible when tied so slavishly to New Labour, a party who doesn’t support striking workers and doesn’t pose any real opposition to the most vicious government since before the Second World War. The Labour Party is now a political and intellectual concentration camp that only marks itself out as different from the other two of the ‘big three’ by it’s name and logo.

Trade union members’ hard earned and ever dwindling wages should not go to a party of big business but to a party accountable to and fighting in the interests of them and their families. Trade unions should disaffiliate from the Labour Party now and aid the building of a new workers’ party! Support the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) as an important step towards this.

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