Reports today that MPs are to get an 11% pay rise will infuriate many millions of people who are suffering the effects of this government’s austerity agenda.
Our local government members, for example, had three years of frozen pay, leaving them with a 16% cut.
For others, a 1% offer is just not enough to cope with rising food, fuel and transport costs. Higher education and other members have been forced on strike to try to get a better deal.
Yes, we know the MPs pay is set by an independent pay review body, that it won’t come in until after the 2015 general election and that they will have to pay more into their pensions and receive less in expenses.
None of that will cut any ice with the unemployed, the low paid, the sick, the vulnerable.
It will just look as though our legislators – the ones who set the budget and decide how our taxes are used – are just interested in themselves.
It will sicken the many thousands of families who have to queue at food banks each week, or the victims of the bedroom tax or the young jobless.
This government has shown time and again that we are not in this together; that there are tax cuts for the rich and welfare cuts for the poor.
The least MPs can do is to show a little restraint.