Has my salary kept up with MPs’ pay rises? Our interactive chart will tell you

MPs had a pay rise of over 37% between 2010 and 2021 - but is that more than other public sector workers got?  (Image: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg_MPs had a pay rise of over 37% between 2010 and 2021 - but is that more than other public sector workers got?  (Image: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg_
MPs had a pay rise of over 37% between 2010 and 2021 - but is that more than other public sector workers got? (Image: NationalWorld/Kim Mogg_ | NationalWorld/Kim Mogg
MPs will be getting a 2.9% pay rise in April - but have salaries for you and your colleagues kept pace with theirs since 2010?

MPs are set to receive a 2.9% pay rise this April, boosting their salaries by over £2,000 per year to £86,584 – in the midst of a national cost of living crisis and ongoing wave of strikes by public sector workers over pay and conditions.

Some politicians have rushed to defend the pay rise – announced on Thursday 9 February by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which sets MP salaries independently of Parliament – with Darlington MP Peter Gibson telling constituents he offers taxpayers “value for money”.

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The news has been met with derision from some quarters, including among public sector workers who are currently striking for above-inflation pay rises, and who lambasted the move to hike MP wages on social media. Comedian and Last Leg presenter Adam Hills called on Labour MPs to donate their pay increases to charity, to applause from the Channel 4 panel show’s audience, saying: “What a lovely challenge that would be. What a lovely point that would make.”

But how do MP salaries compare to average wages for UK employees, and have other wages risen as quickly as those for politicians? NationalWorld has analysed official data on average salaries by occupation in the UK, to create an interactive chart that will allow you to look up your job to see how wages for you and your colleagues compare to MP pay rises since 2010.

How much do MPs earn - and have they had an above-inflation pay rise?

MPs have seen their pay packets swell by over £20,000 over the last 14 years, with the rise this April representing a 31.7% cash terms increase compared to 2010/11 levels, when they earned £65,738. After adjusting for inflation, however, MPs actually experienced a real-terms pay cut of 0.6% between 2010/11 and 2021/22. This is based on the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

If their wages had kept pace with inflation, MPs would have seen their pay rise to £82,415 in 2021/22. Instead, it rose to £81,932. Inflation data is not yet complete for 2022/23, but with the average standing at 9.1% for the year so far (April to December), the newly announced pay rise for MPs will clearly fall far below inflation this year.

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MPs may also receive other parliamentary income, depending on the level of responsibilities they have. Besides the basic salary, IPSA is also responsible for setting the level of compensation that parliamentarians receive for chairing select committees, or being part of the panel of chairs (who chair public bill committees). Both of these components will be going up by 2.9% in April, to £17,354 apiece.

How much do public sector workers earn?

Since 2015, IPSA has pegged MPs’ pay to changes in the average salaries for public sector workers, as measured by the ONS. Its decision to award a 2.9% cash terms pay rise this year reflected the average rate of wage growth for public sector employees in the three months to October 2022, compared to October 2021.

In 2021/22, full-time public sector workers earned an average of £35,259, according to the ONS – less than half of what MPs earned. Between 2010/11 and then, public sector salaries rose by 23% in cash terms (compared to 24.6% for MPs) – but fell by 1.9% after adjusting for inflation, a worse pay cut than that suffered by MPs.

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Have wages in your industry kept pace with MP salaries?

NationalWorld has built an interactive chart that allows you to look up different job roles to compare whether wages have kept pace with MP salaries since 2010/11. This chart uses data from the ONS, which measures the median annual salary of full-time employees across the UK.

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Not every job has a comprehensive record of average salaries – some may have gaps in the timeseries when not enough data could be gathered by the ONS to make the estimates reliable. Some jobs have been excluded from our chart as a result.

If your specific job title is not included, you may be able to search a broader category – either the sub-category (for instance ‘nursing professionals’) or a master category (such as ‘health professionals’) to compare salaries among these groups of employees.

The searchable table below will help you find what sub-category or master category your job belongs to. Can’t see the chart? You can view it on the Flourish website here.

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If you cannot find your job in the chart, put a key word into the searchable table, to find out what specific job title is listed in the ONS data.

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For instance, if you search ‘decorator’ you will find the ONS publishes salary data for the job cluster ‘painters and decorators’, which you can find grouped under ‘P’ in the chart’s drop down menu.

You can also search for an industry, such as ‘natural and social science professionals’, or the nature of a job, such as ‘chief executives and senior officials’, to see all the job titles grouped under them. Can’t see the table? You can view it on the Flourish website here.

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