Why do MPs earn so much?

Does that headline sound like a flippant question designed to be the intro to a rant? Because it isn’t, I just genuinely wonder why. When you put the question ‘how much do MPs earn?‘ into Google, at the top of the page you get this back –

The basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2014 is £67,060. MPs also receive expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.


Pay and expenses for MPs – UK Parliament

Now if you put in ‘what is the average salary in the uk?’ you get this back in that little info dump at the top –


In 2011, the average household net-adjusted disposable income was 26,552 USD per annum, while the median annual salary was £21,326. In April 2012, average gross weekly earnings for full-time employees were £506, an increase of 1.5% cent from £498 in 2011. This brought the average full-time wage to £26,500.


Income in the United Kingdom – Wikipedia, the free …

There is quite a discrepancy there between those two figures and if you want you can go ahead and read this article which breaks down UK incomes in more detail. I will draw attention to the fact that the figure of £26,500 is a median figure, I certainly do not know many people who earn that much or more. It is also worth drawing attention to the expenses that top up that £67,060 MP salary.
I realise that I may not be saying anything new or radical here, but there seems to be a contradiction in the amount that a politician earns in relation to the people they are meant to be serving. I find it quite galling that politics seems to be for many a career and not a vocation. I believe that serving people to a large extent should be enough to provide prestige and job satisfaction and as such think an MPs salary should be closely linked to the minimum wage of the working men and women that they represent.
If this were the case, maybe there would be swift movement on the introduction of things like a living wage as opposed to just a minimum.
Most of the current politicians have also had the benefit of very expensive educations from institutions that have enabled them to be qualified and connected enough that if they quit politics tomorrow they would walk into very high paying positions outside of the political world. I do not have a problem with this (or rather, I do have a problem with the inequality in education that still exists based on social class but I’ll leave that for now) but it just seems silly that being in politics is such a cushy position salary wise considering they could earn big wages outside of serving the people.
Maybe if there was a restructuring of the pay scale we’d weed out the career politicians. I certainly think it would be easier to identify with politicians who were not earning what I think is a ridiculous amount. I mean, if there was a more restrained wage, it isn’t like they’re bound to live by it forever, they could leave whenever they wanted and go earn their big money in whatever industry it is they’re trained in. That in itself would be a good thing right? Having a constant source of people in power who know that the job is about truly representing people and not the salary.
One Percent
I suppose you could say that large salaries are designed to attract high calibre people, but what about professions like nursing? People in that field are currently having to wrangle for a ONE PERCENT pay rise and they don’t earn anywhere near what an MP earns. It is shameful.
I just think politics should stand for something, but right now all I really feel like it stands for is an easy life for a select few.
I know this isn’t exactly an in-depth analysis but the system we have just feels intrinsically wrong. 
I also know that it’s quite a common thing to hear people say that all of this is just the same as it ever was and that people in power always have it easy but I find that a pretty annoying attitude to take because people can change things for the better when enough people want too. 

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