What's sauce for the goose...

Lots of you have been writing to me about the police pay deal. For anyone who hasn't been following the saga the story so far is that, for the last 25-plus years, the police have

Lots of you have been writing to me about the police pay deal. For anyone who hasn't been following the saga the story so far is that, for the last 25-plus years, the police have swapped their right to strike in exchange for an independent pay award. A special Commission works out what's fair, and the Government pays it. Sometimes the police do better, sometimes worse, but it all evens out over time.Until this financial year when, for the first time ever, the Government ratted on the deal and refused to pay what the special Commission had recommended. They say they're trying to hold down public sector pay to prevent inflation from getting out of control.Which is likely to be very embarrassing when MPs vote on their own pay award this week. I've always said that, in the real world, no-one gets to decide on their own pay rise. I don't think MPs should be any different, so I won't vote on my own salary or pension. The system brings politics into disrepute and cuts politicians off from the people who vote for them. But there are plenty of other MPs who feel differently from me, and there's a good chance they'll vote for a pay rise that's bigger than the one being offered to the police. And if they do, the police will go ballistic. MPs shouldn't lecture them about pay restraint if they aren't prepared to take the same medicine themselves. What kind of a double standard is that?But there's light at the end of the tunnel. People are starting to say that MPs should have an independent pay award, rather like the police. That would bring MPs into line with the real world, and make it harder for Governments to rat on police pay if MPs used the same system too. What's sauce for the goose...


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