First the poor old taxpayers have to bail out the banks, then it’s the turn of the car industry and now it’s the turn of our MPs. It appears unbelievable, but it is true! I know it is April Fools Day, but this one does actually taking some believing and it’s true.
After months of wrangling over MPs expenses with Smith McNulty and Co; Gordon Brown as at long last said the inquiry into Standards in Public Life will be speeded up.
Yesterday, Liberal Democrat MP, Norman Lamb said: Parliament would "destroy itself" in the public's eyes unless changes to the system of MP's allowances were agreed soon.
"We must show we are capable of reform," he said.
But, still they haven’t learnt they MPs are apparently to receive a pay rise of 2.33% from 1 April (which is today), bringing their annual salary to about £64,766.
The Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg and his deputy, Vince Cable, have said publicly that they will not take up the rise.
Also we have heard that plans unveiled by the Leader of the Commons, Harriet Harman, the Exchequer will increase its contribution from £12.4m to £13.2m a year. MPs will each have to pay an extra £60 a month to help fill a £51m black hole in the parliamentary pension fund.
The package was published after government financial experts found a growing deficit in the pension scheme because former MPs were living longer.
The Government Actuary said that taxpayer contributions to the scheme – already one of the most generous in the country – would have to increase by £2.1m a year to cover the shortfall.
Ms Harman said she wanted MPs to increase their payments into the scheme from 10 per cent to 11.9 per cent – equivalent to £60 a month – to help limit the extra bill for the taxpayer.
Commenting on today’s recommendations from the Government Actuary that taxpayers should contribute more to MPs’ pension schemes, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said: “If this is allowed to go ahead, it will be a spectacular own-goal for MPs."
"The pensions of MPs and other well-paid public sector workers have to be brought in line with reality.