B1620 – Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (Amendment) Bill 2020

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Andrew97
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B1620 – Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 (Amendment) Bill 2020; 04MR17 MP

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A Bill to allow the House of Commons to lower the salary given to Members of the House of Commons

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1. Amendments to the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010:
(1) Insert into section 29, subsection 1, the following:
(8) A Majority vote of the House of Commons via a motion may lower the determination of Members salaries for a period of 12 months.
(x)(a) Such a motion must not result in the salary or income of a Member of the House of Commons increasing.

2. Amendments to the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009:
(1) Insert into section 4 the following:
(8) A Majority vote of the House of Commons via a motion may determine the lowering of Members salaries for a period of 12 months.
(x)(a) Such a motion must not result in the salary or income of a Member of the House of Commons increasing.

3. Commencement, Short Title and Extent:
(1) This Act extends to the United Kingdom
(2) This Act comes into force with immediate effect
(3) This Act may be cited as the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act 2010 (Amendment) Act 2020

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MPs' salaries are set to rise again this year, and some MPs from both sides of the house have made clear their unease about this, given the existing economic situation in the UK at the present time. This bill provides an opportunity for MPs to reduce what they earn where the IPSA may be set to inflate their wages. Even though the salaries are independently set, it remains clear that public trust in Westminster is critical, and even the perception of MPs acting in their own economic self-interest would be a worrying thing for Democracy in this country.

This bill would have no effect on the operations of MHoC. Members voting for this bill do so in the knowledge of the previous sentence.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-54481234

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The Mogg
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You know, I was looking at this exact thing the other day and thought about making a bill but then remembered I really couldn't be bothered, so I'm happy to see it done here :lol:
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Theloniouss
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Seems very sensible
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04MR17
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(Original post by The Mogg)
You know, I was looking at this exact thing the other day and thought about making a bill but then remembered I really couldn't be bothered, so I'm happy to see it done here :lol:
You are most welcome kind Sir :hat2:
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Miss Maddie
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Aye and the salaries should be cut by 33% to reflect the cut in incomes millions of people are facing.
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Bailey14
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Aye
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04MR17
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Aye and the salaries should be cut by 33% to reflect the cut in incomes millions of people are facing.
I wasn't going to try a motion and a bill combined into the same item, interestingly.
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SnowMiku
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Aye!

I don't think I need to say why. Accepting a pay rise would be insensitive and amoral at best.
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Aph
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The reason MP salaries are independently set is for two reasons.
1) It's a conflict of interest to decide what you get paid; and,
2) The MP salary needs to be set at a level where we can attract the best and brightest to want to become MPs.

My fear with this idea is that parties with MPs who have large backpockets could decide to lower MP pay to price some of the poorer MPs out of their jobs.

Further, if MPs really don't like their pay rise they are free to donate the extra to charity. Voting to turn down a pay rise that you don't need when others might isn't exactly what democracy is meant to be about imo.

So whilst I truly understand the sentiment here, and initially was inclined to back this move, I'm afraid that I'll be voting against.
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Aph
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(Original post by SnowMiku)
Aye!

I don't think I need to say why. Accepting a pay rise would be insensitive and amoral at best.
So if a couple, one of whom is an MP went from being a two-worker household, living fairly comfortably, to a one-worker household which is now just scraping by because the MPs partner lost their job due to covid. Their bills are large because they have four kids let’s say. The MP decides that actually, they need the pay rise in order to better manage but according to you they are amoral for doing so?

You cannot and should not simply decide to paint people with such a broad brush. Just because some politicians don’t need the money doesn’t mean that they all don’t, and not all politicians are filthy rich.
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Tanqueray91
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Errr **** this ****.
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Saracen's Fez
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Is IPSA currently empowered to lower MPs' salaries as well as raise them? Because my gut feeling is that I'd prefer the process of determining MPs' salaries to remain fully independent.

Also I'm not sure that the current salary is necessarily too high for what is one of the pinnacles of public office.
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Connor27
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Yeah fine by me.
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LPK
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No objections to this. It might also be worth allowing a motion to freeze an MP’s salary at their current rate too, rather than limiting them just to salary reductions?
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04MR17
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(Original post by Aph)
The reason MP salaries are independently set is for two reasons.
1) It's a conflict of interest to decide what you get paid; and,
2) The MP salary needs to be set at a level where we can attract the best and brightest to want to become MPs.
I seriously dispute the second point. This isn't about the best or the brightest. There is no qualification required to be an MP, there is no criteria for being an MP beyond "was elected at the last election". Representation is not about quality or intelligence.

You do make a valid point about the salaries of MPs in that the reason for their introduction was to diversify the socio-economic background of MPs as many were unable to partake in Parliament without a salary. However, we've moved a long way from that now, and the complex system of expenses and other funds mean the argument that MPs can't afford to take a salary reduction.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
Is IPSA currently empowered to lower MPs' salaries as well as raise them? Because my gut feeling is that I'd prefer the process of determining MPs' salaries to remain fully independent.

Also I'm not sure that the current salary is necessarily too high for what is one of the pinnacles of public office.
I believe they are yes.
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04MR17
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(Original post by LPK)
No objections to this. It might also be worth allowing a motion to freeze an MP’s salary at their current rate too, rather than limiting them just to salary reductions?
I did think of that, the issue is they could be voting to freeze their pay as opposed to a recommended pay cut from the IPSA. As such I think the better option would be something like a 1p reduction, or a pay drop over 2 years which is on aggregate a pay freeze, than to allow that loophole.
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Aph
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I seriously dispute the second point. This isn't about the best or the brightest. There is no qualification required to be an MP, there is no criteria for being an MP beyond "was elected at the last election". Representation is not about quality or intelligence.

You do make a valid point about the salaries of MPs in that the reason for their introduction was to diversify the socio-economic background of MPs as many were unable to partake in Parliament without a salary. However, we've moved a long way from that now, and the complex system of expenses and other funds mean the argument that MPs can't afford to take a salary reduction.
Whilst that us true, there is the fact that the more we pay MPs, the more likely we are to attract talented people who would otherwise do well in the private sector.

I'm not convinced on that point. especially because this bill doesn't limit the reduction so actually a majority vote could reduce it to zero without the proper scrutiny that a bill has.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Aph)
Whilst that us true, there is the fact that the more we pay MPs, the more likely we are to attract talented people who would otherwise do well in the private sector.

I'm not convinced on that point. especially because this bill doesn't limit the reduction so actually a majority vote could reduce it to zero without the proper scrutiny that a bill has.
Who is we? I'm really not buying the idea that we need to persuade people to be MPs. This country may be in a pretty weak place right now, but our democracy isn't so bad that we actually need to invest in recruiting MPs. There is nothing in any part of our democracy that requires MPs to be talented. Exhibit A: Chris Grayling.

To suggest that MPs go into the job for the money is incredibly disingenuous towards all of the MPs giving up fantastic opportunities in their Fathers' Businesses to serve the needs of their constituents.


You make a valid point about limiting the reduction. What proportion would you feel adequate to limit it to, as a percentage?
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Aph
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Who is we? I'm really not buying the idea that we need to persuade people to be MPs. This country may be in a pretty weak place right now, but our democracy isn't so bad that we actually need to invest in recruiting MPs. There is nothing in any part of our democracy that requires MPs to be talented. Exhibit A: Chris Grayling.

To suggest that MPs go into the job for the money is incredibly disingenuous towards all of the MPs giving up fantastic opportunities in their Fathers' Businesses to serve the needs of their constituents.


You make a valid point about limiting the reduction. What proportion would you feel adequate to limit it to, as a percentage?
We the people. And as I said, whilst it isn't required, it would be nice.

I'm suggesting that some MPs do. If you are growing up and have parents who's health problems you know are going to get worse with age and a sibling with complex medical needs that you want to provide for, you have the option of following your dream of being a politician, but it doesn't pay much and your career is uncertain, or a banker who earns way more but isn't what you want... you might choose your family over your own happiness and then the people lose the governance skill they could have had.

I know that that's a bit out there but that's my point.

I don't believe that elected officials should be deciding their salary in any way, shape or form so my answer is always going to be zero.
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