From the TUC

MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this

28 May 2009, by Guest in Economics, Politics

Many MPs seem bemused by the wave of public anger that has consumed them in recent days.  Here’s a simple statistic that might enlighten them.  Median income in the UK is around £20,000 pa;  MPs earn around £65,000 pa.  And as the new Touchstone pamphlet shows, many middle earners have seen their relative income growth stall and their job status decline in the last two to three decades. 

£65,000 is simply a salary beyond most people’s imaginings.  The notion that you would then want to top this up with elaborate expense claims seems greedy beyond belief. 

Personally I’m a strong supporter of constitutional reform. But I’m also increasingly convinced that the disengagement and cynicism that plagues our poitical system won’t be fully resolved until we answer some hard questions about growing income inequality and the changing nature of the UK economy over the last three decades. 

As David Marquand put it eloquently in a Guardian piece on Tuesday: what lies behind much of the public anger is the collapse of the post-war social contract whereby citizens offered the state their loyalty in return for jobs, rising living standards and social protection.  I’m afraid it will take a lot more than fixed term parliaments to re-build that contract.

2 Responses to MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this

  1. Tax Research UK » MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this
    May 31st 2009, 7:45 pm

    […] MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this | ToUChstone blog: A public policy b…. As David Marquand put it eloquently in a Guardian piece on Tuesday: what lies behind much of the public anger [about MP’s expenses] is the collapse of the post-war social contract whereby citizens offered the state their loyalty in return for jobs, rising living standards and social protection.  I’m afraid it will take a lot more than fixed term parliaments to re-build that contract. […]

  2. MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this | called2account
    May 31st 2009, 11:00 pm

    […] MPs’ Expenses Row: There’s tough economic questions in this | ToUChstone blog: A public policy b…. As David Marquand put it eloquently in a Guardian piece on Tuesday: what lies behind much of the public anger [about MP’s expenses] is the collapse of the post-war social contract whereby citizens offered the state their loyalty in return for jobs, rising living standards and social protection.  I’m afraid it will take a lot more than fixed term parliaments to re-build that contract. […]