Tory MP describes 'grim' struggle of living on £82k a year as he asks for raise

6 October 2021, 20:47 | Updated: 6 October 2021, 23:15

Sir Peter Bottomley believes MPs should earn the same as GPs.
Sir Peter Bottomley believes MPs should earn the same as GPs. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Tory MP Sir Peter Bottomley has described the 'grim' reality of living on £82,000 a year while asking for a pay rise.

The Conservative spoke out about his financial struggles, suggesting MPs should earn the same as GPs for their work.

Despite no longer having money issues, Sir Peter said conditions for newer colleagues were "desperately difficult".

MPs earn £81,932 for their roles in parliament, with the average salary in England standing at £31,461 as of last year.

It comes on the same day that the Universal Credit uplift of £20 came to an end, leaving tens of thousands of the most vulnerable in the UK under more financial strain.

Read more: 'I know first hand just how difficult it can be to scrape by on Universal Credit'

Sir Peter also highlighted that doctors were paid too little in their positions, but said a 'general practitioner in politics' deserved to get equal pay to either way.

"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," he said in a New Statesman interview.

"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."

Speaking of others joining parliament, Sir Peter said: "I don’t know how they manage. It’s really grim."

The longest-serving MP inherited parliament’s Father of the House title after the December 2019 general election.

"There’s no pay, no merit and no responsibility," he said.

He has served as an MP for Worthing West in West Sussex since 1997.