ALL IN IT TOGETHER?  MPs PAY RISE WOULD SUGGEST NOT! as featured in full as a letter in the Rugby O

The Rugby Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) has expressed outrage at last week’s announcement of a 1.8% pay rise for MPs. “It beggars belief that at a time of austerity, with apparently no money available to protect public services or the wages of public sector workers, MP’s will get a 1.8% pay rise,” Rugby TUSC spokesperson Pete McLaren told us today

“MPs are already very well paid. The £77,379 pa salary they will now receive is just the basic rate of pay – they get paid more for some jobs such as chairing select committees. MPs will now be paid £1,488 per week: the average worker earns £512 per week before tax according to the Office for National Statistics, nurses £421 pw. MP’s pay has risen every single year for the past seven years – a total increase of £11,641. That is a 17.6% pay rise since 2010 – whilst other public sector workers have suffered seven years of austerity

“Public sector pay was actually frozen from 2010 to 2013, since when there has been a 1% pay cap. This year’s 1.8% pay rise for MPs is nearly double that. Prime Minister Theresa May announced the end of this 1% pay cap last year, but public sector workers are still waiting to hear how much their pay will rise – and there is no guarantee it will be by as much as the 1.8% MPs will get.

“Direct comparisons of MPs pay with specific jobs in the public sector are illuminating. Since 2010, an MP’s pay has gone up from £65,738 to £77,379 – an increase of 17.7%, or £11,641. In contrast, a nurse’s pay over the same period has gone up just 3.5% - a pay cut, in real terms, of 12%. Teachers have seen their pay fall by 10%, as have fire fighters and ambulance drivers, according to TUC research. Average weekly pay for public sector workers fell by 7% between 2010 and 2016. How can any Government justify increasing the pay of one group of workers (MPs) by 17.7% whilst cutting the pay of every other public sector worker?

“Taking inflation into account, public sector workers are thousands of £ worse off today compared to 2010 – paramedics, NHS dieticians and prison officers by £4,000 pa, fire fighters £3,000, teachers £2,400 and lifeguards by £2,200 pa. This is an absolute disgrace, and will further alienate ordinary working people from their representatives in Parliament. There is already a serious distrust of politicians, and the fact that austerity – unnecessary as it is – is not being distributed equally will fuel the contempt people have for their MPs,” Pete McLaren concluded

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