Fundraisers launched after MP Peter Bottomley says politicians’ £82k salary is not enough

People have started raising money after an MP whinged about politicians’ £82,000 salary – but there’s a twist.

Speaking to the New Statesman, Sir Peter Bottomley claimed it was “desperately difficult” for newer parliamentarians to survive on the amount they are paid.

The basic annual salary for an MP is £81,932 (the average UK salary is £31,461 a year) and Bottomley’s comments come at a time when the universal credit uplift is being cut. Once the £20 is pulled, it’s predicted that half a million more people could be plunged into poverty.

People have been poking fun at the politician’s comments since the article’s publication, with people even going so far as to launch fundraisers.

A GoFundMe launched by Simon Harris aims to raise £20,000. In the fundraiser’s description, Harris sarcastically wrote: “The fact that some of these people could be forced to switch from Waitrose to Sainsbury’s has forced my hand.”

Harris said he plans to donate the money to food banks, because he doesn’t “have the empathy level of a service station pasty.”

A JustGiving page has also sprung up. Organiser John O’Groats is raising money for The Trussell Trust “because apparently there’s a bunch of MPs that need food.”

O’Groats wrote: “My heart quite honestly bled for him when I heard of the struggles of him and his colleagues, on the same day that they implemented a £20 cut to universal credit, affecting hundreds of thousands of families across the UK.

“I’m sure with the struggles these MPs are experiencing themselves, they must rely heavily on The Trussell Trust and the other charities that offer similar services to those facing hardship.”

So far O’Groats’ fundraiser has raised £309.

During the interview, Father of the House Sir Peter, who has the current longest continuous service in the Commons, said: “Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110-£115,000 a year – it’s never the right time, but if your MP isn’t worth the money, it’s better to change the MP than to change the money.”

Although he isn’t in dire straits personally, he said of his newer colleagues: “I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.”

Sir Peter said he had not known when the interview would be published but told radio station LBC that he stood by his remarks.

People haven’t necessarily had much sympathy for the MP on Twitter:

With the money from the fundraisers set to go to worthy causes, let’s hope the headlines generated by Bottomley’s comments raise some cash for those who are actually in need.

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