Tory MP Peter Bottomley calls living on £82,000 ‘desperately difficult’ and people don’t have much sympathy

The Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley has sparked a furious backlash after he suggested that MPs living on an £82,000 salary have it “desperately difficult.”

The Father of the House of Commons, who earned that title in 2019 due to being the longest-serving MP in parliament, made the comments about wages during an interview with The New Statesman.

Bottomley, who has served as an MP since 1975, believes that the salary of £81,932 that he and his colleagues earn is “grim” and should be of the equivalent of a GP’s.

“I take the view that being an MP is the greatest honour you could have, but a general practitioner in politics ought to be paid roughly the same as a general practitioner in medicine,” said the 77-year-old.

“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.”

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The MP for Worthing West admitted that although he is not struggling financially he believes his newer colleagues are finding it “desperately difficult” on the current salary adding: “I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim.”

Bottomley’s comments, which come during the same week that the government are stripping £20 from universal credit claimants, have been widely ridiculed on social media, with many people asking if they can have the £82k salary instead.

According to the Office for National Statistics, the median UK salary weekly pay for full-time employees in the UK is £586 a week, which would work out at around £31,000-per-year.

The talk of wage increase has been on the government’s agenda this week with Boris Johnson reportedly said to be on the verge of approving a minimum wage boost of 5 per cent to £9.42 an hour “within weeks”.

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