A fundraiser has been set up poking fun at a Tory MP who used a media interview to complain about his £82,000 salary amid a cost of living crisis.
Sir Peter Bottomley, the Conservative MP for Worthing West and the Father of the House of Commons, described MPs’ pay packets as “really grim”, despite their wages putting them in the top 5 per cent of earners in the UK.
He called for members’ salaries to be boosted to somewhere in the region of £100,000, saying the situation was “desperately difficult” for newer MPs, adding: “I don’t know how they manage”.
Now, a Gofundme user going by the name of Simon Harris has shown his concern for Sir Peter by attempting to raise £20,000 to boost his earnings.
“Support this Tory MP struggling on £80k a year,” the page description reads.
“I am raising £20,000 for Sir Peter Bottomley who has courageously admitted that he is ‘struggling’ on the current MP’s salary of £80,000 per year,” it adds.
The page was created on Wednesday and has so far raised £70 from six generous donors.
In an interview with the New Statesman, published on the day when the £20 uplift to Universal Credit was axed, Sir Peter called for MPs to get a pay rise, pointing out that their salaries do not cover expenses.
He suggested taxpayers should foot the bill for the things the rest of the public has to pay for, such as food and travel.
The median salary in the UK is just over £31,000, according to the Office for National Statistics, while those paid in excess of £80,000 are in the top 5 per cent of earners.
An increase of £18,000 a year to MPs’ salaries would represent a rise of almost 22 per cent.
The government this year offered NHS staff a rise of 3 per cent.
Speaking on LBC Radio on Thursday morning, Sir Peter defended his comments and suggested he would be in favour of slashing numbers in the Commons in order to increase MPs’ pay.
He also claimed that “a good teacher, a good social worker or a good trade union official” would be “significantly worse off” if they went into politics.
According to the government’s Get Into Teaching website, a qualified teacher working in inner London can earn a maximum of £50,953 and up to £41,604 for the rest of England and Wales.
The median salary for a social workers is £37,000 according to payscale.com.
Trade union officials can earn between £30,000 to £80,000, according to the National Careers Service.