Wednesday 9 July 2014

Farage says pay MPs more if they do more work

Nigel Farage has sparked controversy by telling LBC that he would be happy for MPs to be paid as much as £100k if we leave the EU.

Most of the controversy has arisen from deliberate misrepresentation by the left wing papers who are telling readers that Farage says MPs deserve a pay rise which isn't actually what he said.

What he said was:
Given that 75% of our laws are now made in Brussels and actually apart from the weekly theatre of Prime Minister's questions... I see no argument for increasing MPs' pay at the moment because they haven't got the responsibility.


If we had a sovereign parliament that actually ran this country and was directly responsible for the rules and regulations that controlled our industries, that determined whether we succeeded or failed in the world, I would have no problem in paying MPs more.

If we paid MPs the same as the local headmaster of the local comprehensive, that would be about right. It would be £90,000 to £100,000.
What he says is absolutely right and certainly not at odds with UKIP's small state, anti-troughing politicians philosophy. Nor is it likely to be linked to Farage's intention to stand as an MP next year given that he has stood in every general election since 1997 with no mention of increasing MPs' salaries. If he was only interested in the money he wouldn't have swapped his well paid city job for the rather more modest salary of an MEP (roughly the same salary as a British MP, not this mythical £2m figure the papers like to throw about) and spent a small fortune on political campaigning and elections. Contrary to the rich banker on the gravy train image that the media like to portray, Farage is actually a very generous man who spends a lot of his own money supporting good causes and UKIP members. He's also never been a banker, incidentally.

What Farage actually says (as you can see for yourself above) is that MPs don't deserve to be paid any more money while the EU makes three quarters of our laws but if we leave the EU and an MP's workload quadruples then he would have no problem with MPs getting a 33k pay rise in return for the 300% increase in the amount of work they do. And who can argue with that logic?