Letter: Performance-related pay in the Commons

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Sir: MPs are suggesting that the Nolan committee should take on the role of a pay review body ("MPs unite to demand an increase in salaries", 31 January). Should this happen, may I suggest that the committee adhere strictly to the following points of principle, reiterated many times by the present Government.

No extra money will be forthcoming; any increase in salaries for MPs must be found from savings elsewhere in the parliamentary budget. Any pay increase must be justified by a demonstrated increase in productivity (for example, by "downsizing" the House of Commons and requiring MPs to represent larger constituencies).

Pay should be performance-related (perhaps by relating pay to time spent in the House, or to the number of complaints from constituents successfully resolved by an MP). In relation to this last point, some system of league tables should be devised and published annually to demonstrate the relative performance of individual MPs, preferably a system that involves an inordinate amount of paperwork.

Yours faithfully,

R. I. Jones


31 January