#AllInThisTogether – The Nitty Gritty

I’ve had ample time to calm down, my beta-blockers have all run out and my on-call psychiatrist has had a nervous breakdown.

I have had time to take in IPSA’s recommendations for the future salaries and pensions for our illustrious politicians.

It contains some absolute corkers in relation to the 11% pay rise and amended pension scheme.

My work here is done, I’ll restrict myself to some lazy quotes from the document, they, after all, can put it far more eloquently than I could ever hope to.

  • It should be modern, transparent, fair, sustainable, and treat MPs as professionals.
  • We have a duty to contribute to restoring confidence in our Parliament and parliamentarians. The package that we have developed seeks to do so: by investing in the future of our Parliament and our democracy; by bringing an end to the peculiarly generous perks of the past; and, crucially, by seeking to help MPs address an issue raised time and again, namely a large majority of the public simply do not know what their MP does.
  • IPSA’s powers to determine MPs’ pay and pensions are set out in the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 and the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010. For MPs’ pay, the powers were transferred from Parliament to IPSA in May 2011. The equivalent powers to determine MPs’ pensions were transferred in October 2011.2. This means that decisions on MPs’ pay and pensions are now taken by  IPSA, independently of government and Parliament. Likewise they will be implemented according to a timetable determined by IPSA alone.
  • We recognise that we must answer the question: why do this now? Why do this at a time of austerity, when the British economy is struggling and when household budgets are under such pressure? Our answer is simple, but not glib: the lesson of the last 30 years is that there is never a good time to tackle this question. Wait for the moment when it is politically expedient to address it – when all the stars are aligned – and one would wait a long time, risking a repetition of the sad story of those last 30 years.

THE PACKAGE

  • the scaling down of the generous resettlement payments;
  • a pension on a par with those which will be payable in other parts of the public service;
  • reinforcing the boundary between business costs and expenses on the one hand and pay on the other;
  • annual reporting by MPs on their activities and spending; and finally
  • a salary of £74,000 in 2015, indexed to annual growth in average earnings in the whole economy thereafter.

…….evidence that MPs’ pay has fallen behind since the last review of their
remuneration in 2007. There is a pay gap, a problem to be fixed  And who else might THAT apply to eh?

……..it is not a series of trade-offs between the component parts of the package. Other
public sector workers have not received salary compensation for the reform of their
pensions. Nor should MPs. Well it damn well looks like one

THE PENSION

MPs’ pensions is to move to a CARE
scheme, along the lines of the reformed public service schemes. The main features of
the new scheme are set out below.

  • Defined benefit scheme, based on career average revalued earnings (CARE).
  • Based on a total cost of 22.9% of payroll (in comparison to 32.4% now).
  • Retirement age to be the same as State Pension Age or 65, whichever is the higher.
  • Accrual rate of 1/51st of pensionable salary each year.
  • Revaluation rate equal to the increase in the Consumer Prices Index.
  • MPs pay 40% of the cost of the scheme; the taxpayer 60%, with a ceiling and floor arrangement to ensure stability in contribution rates and to protect the taxpayer from significant increases in cost.
  •  Death in service and survivor pension benefits reduced to the same level as the Ministers’ scheme.
  • Transitional protection for MPs within 10 years of retirement age on 1 April 2013.
  • Some protection available to MPs between 10 and 13.5 years from retirement.

AND FINALLY…

We have identified a number of expenses which arguably should be paid for by MPs
themselves. These include:

  • the food subsidy that can be claimed if Parliament sits after 7.30pm;
  • hospitality (which includes payments for tea and biscuits in the office);
  • hotels taken before 1 am (but not for those MPs who use hotel accommodation only when in London);
  • taxis home if they are taken before 11pm;
  • home contents insurance (for personal possessions); and
  •  installation of a television and the licence for it in a residential property.

Well, that’s alright then, we are all in this together after all, Silly Me. All the government have to do then is have a mass debate, vote and change the two laws referred to above. Simples.

It’s not as though they haven’t done that before is it?

Advertisements

Please Feel Free To Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s