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 Do we pay politicians enough or too much?

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Wolf
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PostSubject: Do we pay politicians enough or too much?   Tue Jul 22, 2008 3:32 am

What do you think about how much we pay politicians? DO they deserve more than they get now? Or do you think that they are paid way too much for what they do?

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Nick

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PostSubject: Re: Do we pay politicians enough or too much?   Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:31 pm

When I studied politics, back in the late 80’s, we were told that no-one entered politics for the money, as MPs were paid rather poorly compared with what those people could earn in the business world. But since the 90’s MPs have consistently voted themselves higher and higher pay awards. Yet still, if we consider that these people are meant to be the leaders of this country, they are still paid much less than many business leaders.

But should politicians be paid that much? If we pay them too well then we run into the problem that many think we are facing at present, with people becoming “professional politicians”, those that see it as a career pathway to earn money, rather than as a public service. The country needs politicians of conviction in their beliefs (of all sides, not just left or right wing, we need extremists too, no matter how silly that may seem, because it is by listen to all points of view that a consensus may be reached for what is best for all) rather than only in it for the money. Politics can never be “just a job” for anyone, because if it is then that person is not the right person to lead others in that way.

People say that we must pay politicians well in order to attract the best quality of candidates (the old adage of “if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys”), but that is not the case in politics. Politicians must always enter politics because of their beliefs and their motivation must always be to do the best (as they see it) for the country and not just for themselves.

So should we keep the pay of politicians low? Maybe, as this would then only attract people who are truly entering politics for the right reasons, for the good of the country and people. But if we keep the pay of politicians low, then we run the risk of them being more susceptible to corruption, as they may feel the need to take bribes to supplement their incomes (true, this risk is always there, no matter how much we pay them, as there will always be greedy people who want even more than they already get).

So maybe it would be a good idea to pay our politicians the “average wage” of the country at that time? This would encourage them to work more for the benefit of the country as a whole, as the better the country does, the higher the “average wage” is, and so the more they get paid.

Or maybe it would be better to implement a system where all assets of the person entering politics are taken into public ownership, and then they get them back when they leave politics? This would mean that the better the politician does for the country as a whole and its populace, the more those assets would be worth when they leave, and so act as an incentive for them to do well, but if they do badly, then as the economy and country suffers, their own assets become worth less too when they get them back.

I do believe that we need to strike the right balance of payment so that no one enters politics out of personal greed, yet they are also rewarded enough so that we get a decent quality of candidate.

I do think that the idea that politicians vote for their own pay is not a good move, as they leave themselves open to the criticism they are getting at present, where most public employees are facing wage drops, while they get wage increases.
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PostSubject: Re: Do we pay politicians enough or too much?   Sat Aug 09, 2008 8:29 pm

They get far too much. I say put the money into Doctors and Firefighters. Least then we know that people who do make a difference would be on the receiving end rather than a jumped up idiot in a suit Razz
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