Tory MP says living on £82,000 salary is ‘really grim’

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Conservative MP Sir Peter Bottomley said some MPs were looking “really serious” to live on a £82,000 salary.

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The Worthing West MP said the annual salary, which does not include expenses and allowances, should be higher.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the average salary in the UK is over £31,000.


in an interview with new statesman, Sir Peter insisted that MPs should be paid as much as the GP – an average of around £100,000 in England.

A £18,000 per year increase in MPs’ salaries would represent a wage increase of about 22 percent. The government offered a 3 percent increase to NHS staff this year.

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Sir Peter said: “I agree that being an MP may be your greatest honor, but in politics a general practitioner should be paid the same amount as a general practitioner in medicine.

“Doctors are paid very little nowadays. But if they get around £100,000 per year, the equivalent of achieving the same standard of living for an MP would be £110 – £115,000 a year.

“It is never the right time, but if your MP is not worth the money, it is better to change the MP than to change the money.”

While Sir Peter said he did not struggle financially, he believed the situation was “extremely difficult” for the new MPs.

He added: “I don’t know how they manage. It’s really serious.”

His remarks came as ministers pressed further with cuts to Universal Credit that the charity warned would plunge thousands into poverty.

Sir Peter said he believed the £20 profit raise – paid to claimants during the Covid pandemic – should have been “diluted” rather than removed entirely from 6 October.

The MP, aged 77, is the father of the House as he is the longest-serving current member of the Commons.

Before he was an MP and serving in Margaret Thatcher’s government, he drove a lorry after graduating from the University of Cambridge. He joined the Transport and General Workers’ Union and became involved in local politics.

He recalled contemplating stepping down from Parliament during an interview in 1982 due to financial constraints.

His wife Virginia, with whom he had dependent children at the time, had left the paid job on the Isle of Wight to run as a candidate. She was elected to a different constituency in 1984 before becoming a life partner in 2005.

Sir Peter said: “The salaries of MPs were low, and I was not going to be either broken or crooked to go.”


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