The Public’s Opinion on MP Salaries

March 11, 2019

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New research by KIS Finance has revealed the public’s opinion on MP salaries and whether they should be paid more in order to improve standards.

The survey of 2,000 Brits has shown that:

•31% of people believe that the current MP salary is inadequate to encourage high performing individuals into politics.

•Those under 45 are more in favour than older generations of increasing MP salaries.

•Edinburgh is the city with the most support for increasing MPs’ pay, with 43% of those living in or around the city supporting a pay increase for MPs.

•Green Party supporters are most in favour of paying MPs more, with 52% supporting an increase in salary. In stark contrast, only 19% of UKIP supporters are in favour of paying MPs more.


MP salaries compared to other sectors

The survey conducted asked people to compare how MP salaries stacked up against other sectors in order to make an informed decision on whether MPs should be paid more, less, or kept at their current salary of £77,379.

For comparison purposes, the respondents were given details of the salaries of various other responsible roles to help them make a fair judgement.


Younger generations are the most supportive of an MP salary increase

The research found that those under 45 are more in favour than older generations of increasing MP salaries, with 39% of 25 to 34 year-olds and 36% of 35 to 44 year-olds in support.

By comparison, only 21% of those 55 to 64 would support an increase in the amount that MPs receive.


How do different cities feel towards MP salaries?

Edinburgh is the city with the most support for increasing MPs’ pay, with 43% of those living in or around the city supporting a pay increase for MPs. This is closely followed by people in London with 38% in support.

Those in Belfast and the surrounding area are most in favour of cutting MPs’ salaries with 48% agreeing that this should be done, followed by Newcastle with 42% in favour of a reduction.


Does political allegiance affect people’s views?

Based on people’s political allegiance, taken from how they voted in the 2016 General election, Green Party supporters are most in favour of paying MPs more, with 52% supporting an increase in salary. Supporters of the Liberal Democrats are next with 51%.

In stark contrast, only 19% of UKIP voters are in favour of paying MPs more, compared to a massive 45% of their supporters who are in favour of cutting their salaries.

In respect of the main political parties, Labour and Conservative supporters are fairly evenly split with 30% of Conservatives and 29% of Labour supporters being in favour of an increase.


An interesting case study…

The report also contains an interesting perspective from a Psychologist and ex-Political Campaign Manager who thinks a performance based pay system could have a major impact on how MPs perform in their role.

Below is a short extract from the case study:

“Most MPs would fear losing their influence much more than a few thousand pounds. This is something that is part of the performance-related pay in other industries, not only do you not see a financial benefit if you are incompetent, you will also ultimately lose your job. At present, MPs have their job for a fixed term whether they do anything or not.”

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