Salary ratio of the Members of the Parliament (MP) around the world compared with the average in the country is certainly very revealing in determining a true link between the “people’s representatives” and the country’s population which they represent at the highest Government levels.
The officially published statistical data in different countries shows that, among the economically developed countries, this ratio varies greatly obviously depending on the level of democratization of the society and possibility of population to influence the size of salaries of the “people’s representatives”:
Thus, in the United Kingdom, publicly declaring the “Parliamentarians’ concern for the urgent problems of the Kingdom’s population”, the ratio is 2.09.
As you know, every citizen of the UK pays £1 tax per year to support the Parliament. That is why the recent decision of theIndependent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to increase the salaries of the Members of the British Parliament by 10% when the country has to tighten its belts for 5 years has caused active public protests. So now, 650 Deputies of the British Parliament would receive £74,000 instead of £67,060, the tax of each and every citizen of the country will also increase by 10%.
Increasing salaries by almost £7,000 will also reach the Ministers of the British Government in spite of David Cameron’s promise to freeze their wages until the end of the term of the current Parliament. Thus, Cameron’s own salary will increase from the previous £142,500 to £149,440; and the salaries of the Ministers will increase from the current £134,565 to £141,505. Against this background, the wages of ordinary state employees will increase by only 1%.
It is noteworthy that the IPSA decided to increase the salaries of the MPs despite the fact that the majority of the citizens voted against this measure through social networks or during public opinion polls. As Yvette Cooper, a candidate for the Labor Party leader, noted in one of her latest speeches: “The idea of increasing MPs pay by 10 per cent at a time when nurses, care workers, police officers and our armed forces face another five years pay freeze is completely unfair. The Tories are cutting tax credits for ordinary families yet allowing this Ipsa increase to go ahead” (see ).
The Executive Director of the UK Tax Payers‘ Alliance Jonathan Isaby said, “It’s apparent that IPSA is hopelessly out of touch and not fit for purpose. The national debt is still rising and hard-pressed taxpayers are keeping their belts tight, so it’s totally inappropriate for these bureaucrats to recommend even higher pay for MPs.” “It would be grossly hypocritical for any MP who voted for years of pay cuts for public sector workers to accept a 10% increase for themselves,” said Mark Servotka, the General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PSC).
Also, the payment of “golden parachutes” worth millions of pounds to non-re-elected MPs’ has caused indignation of the British public. Thus, politicians who lost their seats based on the results of the General Elections held on May 7 have received almost 4 million pounds as a compensation for dismissal as reported by the Scottish national daily newspaper ‘The Scotsman’. For six months, 43 former deputies have the right to continue to receive salary amounting to more than 1.2 million pounds that becomes the British taxpayers’ burden.
It is noteworthy that the above-mentioned means for maintaining the rich and powerful are allocated when five million British are paid less than the subsistence minimum.
According to the UK regional daily newspaper ‘Manchester Evening News’, the salaries of the employees of the Greater Manchester Municipal Administrations do not correspond to the current subsistence minimum, while the heads of the district administrations earn 10 times more. Thus, according to the web sites of the district administrations, the salaries of ordinary employees are £16,328 per year, for a 40-hour working week, then, for example Teresa Grant, the Head of the Trafford’s administration, earns £165,000 per year, Donna Hall, the Head of Wigan, receives about the same, and the annual salary of Mike Owen, the acting Head of the Bury’s administration, is £152,286 per year.
Frances O’Grady, the TUC Secretary-General, said that the wages of five million people in the country fall short of the amount necessary to ensure normal living standards.
The dismissive attitude of the UK authorities to the urgent social problems of the Kingdom’s population and the solution of the country’s financial problems at the expense of ordinary British people are very vividly confirmed by the participation of the family of the Chancellor of the Exchequer in tax evasion schemes. Thus, according to the recent report of the British National tabloid ‘The Daily Mirror’, the UK Finance Minister George Osborn may have received tens of thousands of pounds as a result of a multimillion-dollar deal that was signed by the company owned by his family with an offshore development company registered in the British Virgin Islands. This is quite remarkable, given that earlier in his public speeches Osborne had actively condemned the practice of tax evasion by offshore corporations as being “morally repugnant”.
“Because of tax evasion by offshore companies, the UK is facing austerity measures that Osborne has introduced for the whole country,” said the Labor MP, Steve Rothery. “And now, George Osborne is engaged in the next plan to reduce the UK budget by 12 billion pounds per year.”
Just from the above examples, the question begs itself: can this “British democracy” really be a model lifestyle, as the political circles in the UK attempt to portray it, while trying to impose it on other countries?
Valery Kulikov, political analyst, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.