MPs pay was the dog which didn’t bark, let alone bite. A thinly-attended House of Commons last night capitulated to Gordon Brown’s wish for pay restraint and a 1.9 per cent pay rise was passed without even going to a vote.
It was always hard to see why anyone would have stepped out of line and fought for the 2.56 per cent recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Board.
It’s one thing for police to demonstrate for marginally higher pay; they put their lives on the line for public safety. Members of Parliament are not held in quite the same regard.
Back in 1996 the chamber rejected the government’s 3 per cent pay offer and awarded its members a 26 per cent increase; from £34k to £43k a year. That’s the kind of money worth risking "snouts in the trough" headlines.
Who really thought that many MPs would go out on a limb for a measly 0.66 per cent extra?