Model motion: MPs on a skilled worker’s wage

Drafted by our comrades from the Labour Left Alliance. Please consider moving in your branch, CLP, trade union.

This branch/CLP notes the election victory of the Conservative Party, providing Boris Johnson’s government with a majority in parliament possibly for the next five years. This will see a series of attacks by the Tory government on jobs, pay and conditions of working people across Britain and Northern Ireland.

This branch notes the pledge made by Labour’s newly elected MP for Nottingham East, Nadia Whittome, to accept no more than a skilled worker’s wage of £35,000 after tax of the basic annual MP salary of £79,468 before tax, with the balance donated to local charities. A salary of £35,000 is approximately the same as a watch manager in the fire service, a paramedic or an experienced teacher in state schools.

This branch notes that the Office for National Statistics estimated average weekly earnings in the UK at £508 per week (around £26,000 annually) – appendix A

This branch believes it is critical that Labour MPs truly represent Labour voters and members. A salary of over £79,000 – even in London – is an astronomical figure. The lifestyle this supports separates our representatives from members and the electorate in a way that is unacceptable and intolerable.

This branch believes that a salary of £35,000 is more than adequate for an MP. More importantly this would ensure our representatives fully understand the difficulties faced by working class people in paying for utilities, transport, mortgage or rent, childcare and more besides. This will ensure their full focus on working to defend the interests of working-class people and the public services provided to them, which would include themselves on this salary.

This branch resolves that all present and future candidates for parliament in this constituency must pledge to accept no more than the salary equivalent to an average full-time skilled worker’s salary. Skilled worker here meaning, for example, an experienced paramedic or teacher (for example M6 on the current teacher pay scale).

This branch asks the current sitting MP and future PPCs for (name of CLP) to undertake the same pledge to accept no more than a skilled worker’s wage. The excess should be donated to a solidarity fund to support workers on strike, meetings, conferences, materials for campaigns etc.

Appendix A
https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/november2019

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