Our glorious leader, The Right Honourable David Cameron MP, and his unholy alliance of Conservative and Liberal Democrat MPs, have been rapidly advancing with their plans to implement draconian cuts in public expenditure. Cuts which generally detriment the poorer end of society and keep those that are already well-off sitting pretty. Despite this apparent disparity, Mr Cameron has been propagating his concept of a “big society” and that we “are in it together”. Well, with cuts hitting students, the disabled, people claiming housing benefit, people with children, people relying on local authority services, people with jobs in the public sector, and many more – most of us are “in it together”. Unfortunately, Mr Cameron, you are most definitely not “in it together” and faining an ersatz camaraderie with the general population is at best insulting. If Mr Cameron wants an ounce of our respect, he will have to earn it by leading from the front.
The current annual gross salary before expenses for the Prime Minister is £142,500, c.f. The UK Parliament Website. Now, compare that to the median gross annual salary of a full-time employee in the UK, which stands at £25,900, c.f. National Statistics National Survey of Hours and Earnings. Our Prime Minister earns five and half-times as much as the UK median salary – that is hardly “in it together”! Even a non-ministerial MP is paid an annual gross salary of £65,738, whereas ministers are paid £134,565, c.f. ibid. While I certainly do not agree with the financial measures that the current government is implementing, I would at least have respect for them if the people implementing those policies were feeling it with the rest of us.
Now, my challenge to Mr Cameron – and all MPs that are propounding the policy of severe cuts as a good idea – is to live on the UK annual median salary of £25,900. If our government expects the population to accept their measures with good grace, they cannot sit in ivory towers, isolated and disparate from the population. If he is finding a problem in what to do with the £116,600 pa difference, I am sure many homeless charities at this time of year would be glad of it – that is a lot of hot meals and roofs over heads.
Will you, Mr Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and First Lord of the Treasury join the people this Christmas and live on the same salary most of the country does? Will your ministers and the MPs in your government join too? After all, you graduated from Oxford with a first in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and are entrusted with budgeting for an entire nation – surely you can budget for your own household.