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Do you think £65,738 is too little for MPs to earn?

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MP Andrew Bridgen has sparked controversy with comments he made over how much MPs should be paid.

The Conservative, who represents North West Leicestershire, took to the airwaves and gave a radio interview after a report revealed MPs felt they should be paid more than their basic salary of £65,738.

Mr Bridgen, pictured below, told the BBC's PM programme that many of his colleagues had taken a pay cut and left successful careers to serve in Parliament and that good candidates were being put off by the pay.

It followed media reports that 100 MPs, including Mr Bridgen, responded to an anonymous survey by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority on MP's pay.

Responding MPs, of all parties, on average said an appropriate salary would be £86,250.

Mr Bridgen said on the radio: "I know MPs who will say in private they are getting poorer.

"Most of my colleagues on the Government benches took a pay cut to be an MP."

Mr Bridgen, who is also paid £7,773 every month for six hours of work as non-executive chairman of his vegetable processing firm, AB Produce, said: "A man or woman who is very capable and doing well in their profession, with a family – are they going to be willing to take that pay cut and look their child in the eye when it's Christmas and say, you can't have what you normally have because mummy or daddy wants to be an MP?"

His words have led Labour politicians in the district, where the average wage is about £17,000, to label Mr Bridgen out of touch with his constituents.

Mr Bridgen told the Mercury he was one of the few MPs willing to talk publicly and honestly about MPs' pay and said Labour MPs had also wanted a raise.

He said: "I would like to state that I do not feel it would be appropriate to increase MPs' pay at the present time of public pay restraint. In the long term, however, I can foresee issues with the diversity of people looking to stand as a Member of Parliament if the issue of pay is not looked at.

"I knew what I was signing up for and have no complaints about the salary."

Do you think £65,738 is too little for MPs to earn?


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