Britain Politicians' salaries
The 2009 MPs' expenses scandal cast a long shadow over British politics. It also led to the creation of an Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) tasked with cleaning up the system. Last year IPSA received new powers to set salaries and pensions. Its initial consultation paper makes for intriguing reading. Despite their public reputation for Caligulan excess, Westminster legislators are rather modestly remunerated by international standards. And for the past century their pay has stagnated relative to that of their constituents. IPSA suggests indexing it to national average earnings at a ratio of between 1.5 and 4. Currently the ratio hovers between 2.5 and 2.9, so—controversially—a rise could be on the cards. MPs may need the cash. It has been made harder to file creative expenses claims. And politicians will probably be asked to contribute more to their extremely generous pension schemes in future.