LETTER: MPs' salaries: market forces, professional parity and job cuts

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Wyatt

Sir: Andrew Marr is generous to MPs ("For a mediocre wage you get a dim MP", 16 January) in supporting the campaign now being launched by members of both parties for a whacking increase in their salaries. He dismisses all too glibly the "market" argument. The corrosive doctrine that all social, ethical and cultural values must be subject to the discipline of market forces has nowhere been preached as loudly over the past 20 years as from the Palace of Westminster. Not a penny more should be found for MPs' pay until all possible efficiency savings have been made. We managed very well in the past without a stage army of ministers of state and parliamentary under-secretaries; we should do so now.

Nor does the market admit of unchanging levels of remuneration for diminishing responsibilities. Parliament has successively handed over to a higher authority, by accession to the Treaty of Rome and by approving the single market, some of its legislative powers. Since MPs are thereby rendered proportionately of less value to the electorate, they should be a lesser burden on it.

Yours faithfully,

David Wyatt

London, NW1