Members of Parliament (or MPs) are set to receive an 11 per cent pay rise, taking their salaries to £74,000 from 2015, despite objections from all three major party leaders. Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury, said the increase would be “wholly inappropriate” coming at a time when many public sector workers have had their pay frozen. Yet despite the fury the announcement has sparked among the public, several MPs have spoken out today in defence of their salaries being increased. Read more >>
This cartoon by Mac from The Daily Mail takes place in Santa's Christmas Grotto. Usually, it's children who sit on Santa's knee and tell him what they would like for Christmas, but here we see an MP being tempted with wads of banknotes (representing the 11% pay rise). The MP tells Santa, "No. No. I absolutely refuse ... you really shouldn't have ... oh well, if you insist ..." Meanwhile, there's a long queue of fellow MPs with bags waiting to see Santa and get their 'present'.
Senior figures in all three parties branded the pay proposals ‘preposterous’, ‘unthinkable’ and ‘wholly inappropriate’ at a time of public sector pay freezes — but cynics might say that they do protest too much. In fact, backbench MPs reacted with anger at the calls for restraint, arguing that they deserve pay rises.
Santa is flanked by two reindeer. And the plant hanging from the ceiling is mistletoe, which people traditionally kiss under.
• Paul Thomas cartoon (Daily Express)