Tory Sir Peter Bottomley calls for MPs to be paid more than £100,000-a-year

A Conservative politician has claimed newer MPs are being left in a ‘desperately difficult’ situation because of their £82,000-a-year pay packet.

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley says he is not sure how MPs ‘manage’ on the current salary – which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average.

The Worthing West representative, whose wife Virginia is a Tory peer and former minister, has called on MPs to be paid more than £100,000-a-year.

The 77-year-old, who holds the title of ‘Father of the House of Commons’ as the current longest serving MP, says such a salary will bring politicians in line with GPs.

Speaking to the New Statesmen, he said: ‘I take the view that being an MP is the greatest honour you could have, but a general practitioner in politics ought to be paid roughly the same as a general practitioner in medicine.

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley  (pictured) says he is not sure how MPs 'manage' on the current salary - which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley  (pictured) says he is not sure how MPs 'manage' on the current salary - which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley  (pictured) says he is not sure how MPs ‘manage’ on the current salary – which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average 

‘Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110-£115,000 a year.

What are MPs entitled to? 

– A basic salary of £81,932-a-year (as of April 2021)

– An increased salary for appointments such as ministerial roles

–  Expenses to cover the cost of work-related expenditure

– MPs are entitled to claim £9,000-a-year for postage and stationery

– They also receive allowances towards having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency.

– MPs can also claim back travel costs between Parliament and their constituency

–  They also receive a pension which is either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year

 

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‘It’s never the right time, but if your MP isn’t worth the money, it’s better to change the MP than to change the money.’

Although he said he currently is not struggling financially, he believes the situation is ‘desperately difficult’ for his newer colleagues.

He added: ‘I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.’

Each of the UK’s 650 MPs are paid a standard salary of £81,932-a-year. Those who hold roles such as in the cabinet are paid a higher salary, including the Prime Minister, who earns £157,372.

On top of this, MPs are given expenses to cover work-related costs.  These include office running costs, staffing costs and reimbursing staff for travel expenses. 

MPs are entitled to claim £9,000-a-year for postage and stationery and receive allowances towards having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.

They also receive a pension which is either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year, depending on their preference.

Meanwhile, the average Briton earned £31,461 for the tax year ending 5 April 2020 – up 3.6 per cent on the previous year.

The average GP salary meanwhile is around £98,000-a-year. GPs need a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council, as well as a 2-year foundation course of general training and a 3-year specialist training course in general practice.

Each of the UK's 650 MPs are paid a standard salary of £81,932-a-year. Those who hold roles such as in the cabinet are paid a higher salary, including the Prime Minister, who earns £157,372

Each of the UK's 650 MPs are paid a standard salary of £81,932-a-year. Those who hold roles such as in the cabinet are paid a higher salary, including the Prime Minister, who earns £157,372

Each of the UK’s 650 MPs are paid a standard salary of £81,932-a-year. Those who hold roles such as in the cabinet are paid a higher salary, including the Prime Minister, who earns £157,372

MPs do not require any qualifications, though many MPs have university degrees and other qualifications acquired in careers before entering politics. 

Sir Peter, for example, studied economics at Cambridge University before being elected as the Conservative MP for Woolwich West in 1975.

He held the seat, later changed to Eltham, until 1997, before being elected to the West Worthing seat – which he still holds today.

Sir Peter is married to Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, Virginia Bottomley, who served as Secretary of State for National Heritage in John Major’s Government.

His comments come as the Universal Credit uplift ended yesterday, despite calls for it to be extended.

The £20-a-week uplift was put in to help families struggling during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns.

It means couples over 25 who claim Universal Credit from this month will be given £509.91-a-month – the equivalent of around £6,000-a-year. Those under 25 and single people receive less still.

People can claim more money on top of the standard allowance if eligible.

Universal Credit £20-a-week uplift that was brought in to help struggling families in the Covid pandemic is withdrawn 

The £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit introduced to help people during the pandemic was withdrawn yesterday.

The Government says the uplift was always intended as a temporary measure, despite widespread criticism of the decision not to continue with it beyond October 6.

Campaigners have hit out at the move, claiming hundreds of thousands of people will be plunged into poverty once the uplift is withdrawn.

Save the Children, one in a long line of charities, think tanks and unions opposed to the decision, has said that one child every second will be affected. 

From October 6, no assessments will include the uplift, meaning that from October 13 – a week later – no payments will be received that include the extra money.

It comes after it was revealed a report published earlier this year found that Universal Credit can serve as a ‘disincentive’ to work because some only end up £3.29 an hour better off than if they choose to live on benefits.

The report, by Baroness Ruby McGregor-Smith, said that once the expense of childcare, transport, work clothes and lunches are taken into account, there would be little to show for it, according to the Telegraph.

The benefits cut will be staggered over 31 days as families receive payments on different dates, Save the Children said.

Just over 3.5 million children in the UK are living in households that receive UC payments, according to Government figures.

This equates to 1.3 children being hit by the cut every second on average over the 31-day period from October 13, Save the Children said.

Gwen Hines, Save the Children’s chief executive, said children’s futures depended on the Government reinstating the lifeline.

She said: ‘Over the next month, every second that passes will see another child pushed towards poverty.

‘People we work with tell us they’ve been relying on this £20 lifeline to buy essentials like food and clothing for themselves and their children.

‘Without it, tens of thousands more children are facing a cold and hungry winter.’

She added that it was ‘astonishing’ that the cut was going ahead, as families struggle with inflation, rising energy prices, fuel shortages and promised tax increases.

A Government spokesman said: ‘We’ve always been clear that the uplift to Universal Credit was temporary.

‘It was designed to help claimants through the economic shock and financial disruption of the toughest stages of the pandemic, and it has done so.

‘Universal Credit will continue to provide vital support for those both in and out of work and it’s right that the Government should focus on our Plan for Jobs, supporting people back into work and supporting those already employed to progress and earn more.’

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