Since 1911, Members of Parliament have been salaried employees. (Before 1911, a man who wanted to be an MP had to have an independent income – either inherited wealth or a job that they could do around Parliamentary sittings.)
For one hundred years, MPs determined their own salary by vote. Since 1st April 2010, MPs have been paid a basic salary of £65,738 per year together with a pension and severence package that is calculated to give them an effective annual salary of £77,738. They also, as we all know, have one of the most generous and flexible expenses schemes in the UK: which it takes an MP of uncommon integrity to refrain from exploiting.
As of 24th May 2011, IPSA was made responsible for regulating MP pay as well as (since 2009) MP expenses. For the past two years, Members of Parliament have not had the power to vote themselves a pay rise. But they think they deserve one.
When Yougov carried out a poll of MPs on behalf of IPSA, to ask them what salary rise they would prefer, the poll found that 69% of MPs thought their top-ten-percent salaries meant they were underpaid: the average level suggested was £86,250. One MP suggested £40,000.