Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Should Labour follow Ireland's example on MPs' pay?

Harry Hayfield on what's happened across the Irish Sea

Taken from the Irish Finance Minister's speech in Dublin this afternoon:
The Government has decided to introduce a number of additional changes to
the remuneration of Deputies and Senators.
* There will be a 10% reduction in all expenses other than mileage
rates where a 25% reduction has already taken place.
* Deputies will no longer receive long service payments or increments.
* The arrangement whereby former Ministers are paid Ministerial
pensions while they are still members of the Oireachtas will be
* Oireachtas members who are on paid leave of absence as teachers may
no longer avail of the arrangement whereby they can keep the difference
between their teachersâEUR(tm) salary and the cost of employing a
* The allowances paid to Oireachtas Committee chairs will be halved
and the payments to whips and vice-chairs are to be abolished.
* The Oireachtas Commission has put forward its own proposals for a
reduction in the number of Committees and I am happy to leave that matter to
these Houses.
Some of these changes will require legislation which will be introduced
shortly. The members of this Government reduced their salaries by 10% last
October. Ministers of State made a similar reduction. The public service
pension levy was applied to members of the Government and Ministers of
State. As a result, Ministers have seen a reduction of one fifth in their

Harry Hayfield is a regular PB contributor


Morris Dancer said...

During the Second Punic War Rome came close to running out of money. They'd already taxed/borrowed enormous sums from the population and, aside from getting spanked by Hannibal, were in dire straits.

The Senate elected to donate their own money to the cause, and even though it amounted to a symbolic amount it got the whole populace onside because they saw that the political class was willing to lay down their own wealth for the good of the nation.

So far Labour's response has been the exact opposite. If they persist then expenses could become as damaging for them as the economy. Perhaps even moreso because it is so clearly down to Government.

Marcia said...

It would be a gesture during this recession but I cannot see the MP's in Westminster going all with it. It would be good if these expenses were capped and only paid up to the needs basis instead of an up to amount basis.