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Sun 18 Sep 2011 17:00 BBC Radio 4

38 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 13 September 2011

When British MPs voted for the first time in August 1911 to receive salaries, they took a big step towards creating a professional cadre of career politicians rather than a gentleman's club.

Writer and journalist Jonathan Freedland addresses the knotty problem of MPs' pay and conditions by beginning with the current level of MPs' pay - £64, 766 - and then exploring pensions and expenses. He will examine the history of MPs' pay awards, from what Lloyd-George intended to be a sort of stipend rather than a salary, to recent years when MPs were compared with the Civil Service and to the present day system put in place by Parliament, in consultation with the Senior Salaries Review Body.

Interviewees include MPs David Davies, Tristram Hunt, Adam Afriye, Chris Mullin, John Mann, Denis McShane; former MP Dave Nellist; IPSA director and former Liberal Democrat MP Jackie Ballard, SSRB boss Bill Cockburn; a Divisional Manager for Executive Headhunters, James Parr; ITV chairman and former MP Archie Norman; the Adam Smith Institute; Matthew Sinclair from the Taxpayers' Alliance and Kenyan MP Ababu Namwamba.

Writer/presenter: Jonathan Freedland

Producer: Neil Rosser
A Ladbroke production for BBC Radio 4.


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