A Tory MP has called for MPs to earn the same salary as GPs, arguing his current £81k a year wage packet is “really grim”.
The 77-year-old ‘Father of the House’ - the MP with the longest continuous service - made the comment on the same day Universal Credit was cut for the most vulnerable in the country.
‘Desperately difficult’ standard of living
Sir Peter Bottomley called the current £81,932 MPs receive “desperately difficult” for many of his colleagues to live on, and added that they should earn the equivalent of medical professionals.
“I take the view that being an MP is the greatest honour you could have, but a general practitioner in politics ought to be paid roughly the same as a general practitioner in medicine,” he told the New Statesman.
GPs earn an average salary of £100,700 in England, where the average salary stood at £31,461 as of last year.
Not only did he feel aggrieved by his current salary, he added GPs are also paid too little and MPs require more than the medics in order to maintain an equal “standard of living.”
The MP for Worthing West said: “Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110-£115,000 a year – it’s never the right time, but if your MP isn’t worth the money, it’s better to change the MP than to change the money.”
He did comment that he personally was not suffering from managing his outgoings on the “desperately difficult” £81k salary, but his newer colleagues were struggling to live on the “really grim” amount.
£20 ‘lifeline’ cut
His comments were made on the same day his party’s government cut the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit payments, around 3.5 million UK children are in households that receive Universal Credit.
Charity Save the Children has now urged the government to reinstate the uplift, warning that without it, tens of thousands of children across the UK will go hungry this winter.
Save the Children chief Gwen Hines said: “People we work with tell us they’ve been relying on this £20 lifeline to buy essentials like food and clothing for themselves and their children.”
In addition, the government has revealed National Insurance payments are to rise in the next financial year, and in recent weeks the upper-limit cap on energy payment for households have also increased.
A version of this article originally appeared on NationalWorld.com