MPs’ £86,000 salary should be doubled, says senior Tory Sajid Javid

Ex-chancellor suggests massive pay bump to attract talent – and claims non-rich candidates may not have ‘skills parliament needs’

Adam Forrest
Political Correspondent
Monday 03 July 2023 20:30 BST
<p>Former chancellor Sajid Javid </p>

Former chancellor Sajid Javid

Senior Tory Sajid Javid has suggested that MPs’ £86,000 salaries should be doubled – claiming talented people were put off coming to politics because of the pay.

The ex-chancellor, who previously worked in investment banking, said he would like to “halve the number of MPs and double the salaries” – taking their pay to £172,000 a year.

He told an Institute for Government event that the measly salary was partly to blame for a lack of talent in government positions – taking a swipe at Tory ministers who are “not very good at their jobs”.

The former cabinet minister said he accepted that MPs’ pay was “a lot of money – more than double the national average – but you get what you pay for”.

His comments come amid a Tory exodus from parliament, with Mr Javid and around 30 of his colleagues announcing that they are standing down at the next general election.

Mr Javid said “one of the reasons I think either people leave or you’re not getting more diverse backgrounds of people in different professions as well wanting to join parliament, I think salary is an issue”.

He said: “If people want to see your GPs or senior nurses or headteachers or an accountant give up their job to want to come into parliament they have to take a massive fall in their lifestyle to do it.”

Mr Javid added: “A lot of people are not willing to do that. So you tend to get in parliament either really rich people who don’t need money and therefore they don’t care if their salary is £88,000 or £28,000.

“Or you will get people that were earning sort of £30,000 – £80,000 is a big jump but they might not come with the skills that parliament needs.”

Sajid Javid says government has ‘problem with talent of some ministers’

The former cabinet minister also made the case for more experts in government and said there is “a problem with the talent of some ministers” – again blaming pay.

“You are expecting people to do these jobs for something other than income – and a lot of people do that in the public sector, as they should. But there’s a level where the quality within government starts to suffer.”

Meanwhile, Mr Javid has criticised Liz Truss by saying she ignored Treasury warnings that her mini-budget would get a “massive negative reaction”.

The former chancellor said the public “paid the consequences” for Ms Truss’s shunning of what she called Treasury orthodoxy.

Ms Truss resigned after a brief stint as prime minister after her disastrous economic plan triggered turbulence in the financial markets and drove up mortgage rates.

Mr Javid defended Treasury orthodoxy by saying it is a “good thing” the department seeks to balance the books in the medium term.

But he also argued that the Treasury “does need to be more flexible” and look to “invest to save” while explaining to markets that “this is actually long-term going to lead to less debt”.

In response to his comments about Ms Truss, a loyal ally of the former prime minister defended her “clear plan to deliver a healthier economy”.

Tory former cabinet minister Sir Simon Clarke said: “She was clear – and she was right – that urgent action is needed to get the UK economy going and avoid stagflation. As Margaret Thatcher recognised, you cannot tax your way to growth.

“I have great respect for Sajid, but it was he who appointed Andrew Bailey as governor of the Bank of England – an appointment which has clearly not delivered.”

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