Tory Politician says it's 'desperately difficult' for MPs to live on £82,000-a-year

An out of touch Conservative politician has claimed newer MPs are being left in a 'desperately difficult' situation because of their £82,000-a-year pay packet.

Tory stalwart Sir Peter Bottomley says he is not sure how MPs 'manage' on the current salary - which is around £50,000-a-year higher than the UK average.

The Worthing West representative, whose wife Virginia is a Tory peer and former minister, has called on MPs to be paid more than £100,000-a-year.

The 77-year-old, who holds the title of 'Father of the House of Commons' as the current longest serving MP, says such a salary will bring politicians in line with GPs.

Speaking to the New Statesmen, he said: 'I take the view that being an MP is the greatest honour you could have, but a general practitioner in politics ought to be paid roughly the same as a general practitioner in medicine.

‘Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110-£115,000 a year.

'It’s never the right time, but if your MP isn’t worth the money, it’s better to change the MP than to change the money.’

Although he said he currently is not struggling financially, he believes the situation is ‘desperately difficult’ for his newer colleagues.

He added: ‘I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.’

Each of the UK's 650 MPs are paid a standard salary of £81,932-a-year. Those who hold roles such as in the cabinet are paid a higher salary, including the Prime Minister, who earns £157,372.

What are MPs entitled to? 

- A basic salary of £81,932-a-year (as of April 2021)

- An increased salary for appointments such as ministerial roles

-  Expenses to cover the cost of work-related expenditure

- MPs are entitled to claim £9,000-a-year for postage and stationery

- They also receive allowances towards having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency.

- MPs can also claim back travel costs between Parliament and their constituency

-  They also receive a pension which is either 1/40th or 1/50th of their final pensionable salary for each year

Meanwhile, the average Briton earned £31,461 for the tax year ending 5 April 2020 - up 3.6 per cent on the previous year.

The average GP salary meanwhile is around £98,000-a-year. GPs need a 5-year degree in medicine, recognised by the General Medical Council, as well as a 2-year foundation course of general training and a 3-year specialist training course in general practice.

MPs do not require any qualifications, though many MPs have university degrees and other qualifications acquired in careers before entering politics. 

Sir Peter, for example, studied economics at Cambridge University before being elected as the Conservative MP for Woolwich West in 1975.

He held the seat, later changed to Eltham, until 1997, before being elected to the West Worthing seat - which he still holds today.

Sir Peter is married to Baroness Bottomley of Nettlestone, Virginia Bottomley, who served as Secretary of State for National Heritage in John Major's Government.


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