Perkbox, an employee benefits platform, has set off to examine the most interesting aspects of a politician’s job, gauging whether the UK citizens they serve think their workplace benefits should change.
According to the poll, surveying 2,000 UK citizens, Members of Parliament (MPs) should lose their taxpayer subsidised food and drink and have their pays reduced. They should be given no perks at all, and if forced to choose, an ethics course would be the most appropriate non-cash compensation to receive.
It’s often we hear that the most important skill for a great leader is trustworthiness. However, nine years on from the expense scandal, when the level of trust in political parties halved in the UK, 62 per cent of people still believe that discounted food and drink in Parliament, estimating to cost taxpayers £2.7million last year, is unfair.
With people realising that employee happiness can directly impact their productivity levels, more workplaces are investing on employee perks. When asked what, if any, perks UK citizens would allow their local MP to have, over half (59 per cent) said they would want to offer them none at all.
But it gets better. For those that would be happy to give them perks, 10 per cent said they would give them an ethics course, 7 per cent said gym membership and 5 per cent would send their MP on a yoga course.
Other key findings in the report include that the public are not happy with MP salaries, which are currently £77,379 annually. Nearly two thirds of the public (64 per cent) said they should be paid less, with 7 per cent saying more and 29 per cent saying they should be paid same.
Despite these criticisms, a third of people (33 per cent) said they felt their local MP was hard-working, although worryingly 18 per cent said they have no idea who their local MP was.
Saurav Chopra, Cofounder and CEO of Perkbox says:
“Nine years on from the expenses scandal, it’s clear that the public still feel that MPs are enjoying a lavish lifestyle and should be stripped of their taxpayer funded perks as well as taking a pay cut. With trust in politicians at an all-time low, it’s more important than ever that elected representatives take this feedback on board and take action to win back the confidence of voters.
What’s most interesting is that despite these criticisms, many people feel that their local MP has a strong work ethic. Perhaps a better way to allocate perks for MPs would be to let the public decide on what they should and should not have through a vote.”
James Price, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers’ Alliance:
“Almost a decade after the expenses scandal, it is encouraging that there is still a healthy scepticism of politicians, which is as it should be to ensure that they are scrutinised as much as possible. Taxpayers are right to think that subsidised food, drinks and other perks are unfair, especially when they are the ones subsidising it! If people were as wary of trusting their statements on spending and taxes as the public seem to be on the work they do, then we wouldn’t be dealing with such enormous debts”.