LETTER OF THE WEEK: MPs need to put their own financial house in order

Houses of Parliament. Credit: Palace of Westminster.
Houses of Parliament. Credit: Palace of Westminster.

Your correspondent, Ron Steele, (Northants Telegraph, July 6) noted that during the election campaign Kettering MP Philip Hollobone said he would never compromise on Kettering General Hospital and the NHS.

He then voted against relaxing the pay cap which has undermined public services and demoralised and impoverished its employees.

They have suffered a two-year pay freeze followed by four years when any pay rises have been limited to one per cent.

This has affected the poorest paid, including experienced and dedicated public servants on salaries below £20,000 and one per cent of not very much is not very much.

It might not have escaped notice that our MPs, who are at the top of the public sector tree, have been quite content to accept year after year the recommendations of their own pay review body so they have benefitted from remuneration increase far in excess of others.

Kettering used to be a constituency which swung between the two major political parties and has been served in the past by high calibre MPs of both parties.

On the evidence of the past three general elections, it has become a safe Tory seat and so it doesn’t really matter who wears the blue rosette – they will be elected.

Philip Hollobone’s expenses are regularly lower than any other MP and he is in a good position to lead his colleagues by example.

Rather than pursuing his burka campaign and the Brexit policy which is now undermining the fabric of the country, he could have fought for parity between all public employees so that MPs would have had to bear the same restraints as others.

It is not too late for him to do this.

Parliament is in state of chaos and effective government becoming more difficult with each passing day.

It is clear that the real purpose of the election had nothing to do with Brexit but to secure a 100-seat majority for the Tories so they could embark on a five-year term of office, the first three years of which would see tax rises and benefit cuts for those least able to bear them.

This would be followed two years of relaxation to dull the senses of the electorate so as to obtain re-election in 2022.

This cynical approach is just as applicable to Labour as the Tories, their attempt to politicise of the Grenfell Tower disaster being particularly shameful and misleading.

We have had just about enough of our elected representatives, some as individuals, but mainly as collective body.

Philip could serve us all well and help Parliament regain respect if he was to persuade his colleagues to show the restraint now and over the coming years which would ensure that they will be no better or worse off compared with the rest of the public sector based on their remuneration in 2011.

Philip Evans

By email