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A GoFundMe page has been set up for a Conservative MP who used a media interview to complain about his £82,000 salary. Sir Peter Bottomley, the Conservative MP for Worthing West and the Father of the House of Commons, commentary about MP’s pay packets comes amid a cost of living crisis.
In a media interview, Mr Bottomley described the pay packets received by MPs as “really grim”, despite their salaries putting them in the top five percent of earners in the UK.
He also called for a pay rise for MPs, suggesting that members’ salaries be boosted to somewhere in the region of £100,000.
He claims that the pay situation was “desperately difficult” for newer MPs, adding: “I don’t know how they manage.”
Following his commentary, a GoFundMe page was set up for Sir Peter by a user going by the name of Simon Harris.
The page shows his concern for the MP by attempting to raise £20,000 to boost the “struggling” MPs earnings.
The page description reads: “I am raising £20,000 for the Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley who has courageously admitted that he is ‘struggling’ on the current MP’s salary of £80,000 per year.”
It later mocks the MP further by saying: “This amount will bring his pay in line with a GP, as he has pointed out in the media.
“Personally I think that the £20 Universal Credit uplift funding should be immediately redirected to MP’s like Sir Peter who are clearly in dire straits, and I will even present him with a giant novelty cheque when we reach the total.”
The page was created three days ago, and has raised £385 of its £20k goal.
Sir Peter’s interview with the New Statesman, was published on the day when the £20 uplift to Universal Credit was axed.
Amid the news affecting the cost of living for thousands across the country, Sir Peter called for the pay rise, and pointed out that members’ salaries do not cover expenses.
The MP suggested that taxpayers’ money should be used for the things the rest of the public has to pay for, such as food and travel.
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This topic was also referenced in the GoFundMe page, which reads: “The fact that some of these people could be forced to switch from Waitrose to Sainsbury’s has forced my hand – it’s time to step up and help those who are genuinely in need.”
It then adds: “Or I’ll just give the money to food banks because that’s where a lot of these WORKING Universal Credit claimants are going to end up, and I don’t have the empathy level of a service station pasty”, before Simon thanks donors for their support.
The Conservative’s comments have been mocked with the effort, as according to the Office for National Statistics, the median salary in the UK is just over £31,000.
Sir Peter’s pay packet lands him in the top five percent of earners, which is classified by those who are paid in excess of £80,000.
If the MPs’ salaries were bolstered by an £18k increase, it would represent a rise of almost 22 percent.
This comes as a stark contrast to the 3 percent rise the government offered to NHS staff this year.
The MP has since defended his comments when speaking on LBC Radio on Thursday morning, and suggested he would be in favour of slashing numbers in the Commons in order to increase members’ 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.
However, 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.
While the median salary for a social worker is £37,000 according to payscale.com, and trade union officials can earn between £30,000 to £80,000, according to the National Careers Service.
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