From a Socialist Party press release, 24.2.15:
In response to the latest Westminster scandal, the Socialist Party argues that what is urgently needed is a party of a completely different type. MPs for such a party would only take the average wage of a worker, instead of the current bloated MPs’ salaries.
As a Coventry MP in 1983-1992, Socialist Party member Dave Nellist, like socialist MPs Terry Fields and Pat Wall, only took the average wage of a worker.
The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition which will stand ‘no-cuts’ candidates in over 100 Westminster seats in May and will also field 1,000 council challenges. Today Dave is the national chair of TUSC and will stand for election in Coventry North West.
Dave Nellist says: “The involvement, once again, of MPs from both Labour and the Tories in the ‘politicians for hire’ debacle just further confirms the widely held idea that ‘they are all the same’, all corrupt, all in it for themselves. The fact they all propose more years of austerity beyond May’s election proves this. TUSC, co-founded by the late Bob Crow, was launched to offer an alternative, a political choice that clearly stands for the 99% and isn’t in the pockets of the super-rich.”
In 2014 Dave spoke to the BBC about his time in Westminster: At the time, I was “going into the [MP] job like a convenor in a factory, we had the time to do the job but not three times the wage or holidays. The engineering union used to work out the returns of all the factories in Coventry and averaged their wages – equivalent to £28,000 or £29,000 nowadays – so that was what I took home.
“The best people go into politics to do a proper job and to represent the people, not for the money.”
Dave points out: “While real earnings have fallen by almost 10% since 2008, MPs are insulated from our day-to-day problems like soaring rents. The average home now costs seven times what a 24-35 year old can normally earn. MPs should share that pain – so they are ready, as we are, to fight for change.”
TUSC prospective candidate for Lewisham West and Penge, Martin Powell-Davies, one of four members of the national executive of the NUT teachers’ union, tweeted: “Rifkind can’t manage on £60k? I pledge to stay on teacher’s wage if elected @TUSCoalition MP for #LewishamWestPenge – use rest for campaigns”.