Research for Saga amongst more than 11,000 over 50s shows that whilst the nation’s over 50s are outraged that despite voters facing harsh times, MPs could be in line for a whopping pay rise - they are more amenable if the numbers of MPs were to be cut.
Paul Green, director of communication for Saga commented:
"73% of Britain's Saga Generations strongly oppose awarding MPs a substantial pay increase in these austere times. In fact a quarter went further demanding cuts in MP numbers in return for pay increases.
"With over 65s three times more likely to vote than those under 25, and public opinion so strongly opposed to the ludicrous increase, it is perhaps no surprise that IPSAs plans will make an uncomfortable public battleground for MPs.
"If the Boundary Commission recommendations for fewer MPs had been allowed to stand, then twice as many of the nations over 50s would have supported a pay rise for MPs (16% to 28%). However, as things stand this is likely to become a key point of trust between the voting public and those elected to represent them."
The opposition to the recommended pay increase for MPs varies with age with 77% of those aged 50-59 opposed a pay increase, falling to 68% of those aged 80-89 opposed. Perhaps unsurprisingly the hostility towards the suggested pay rise, muted to be in the region of £8000, increases as you move down the social scale with 67% of AB objecting and 86% of C2s. There is also a regional variation with those in the North east being most hostile – 80% and those in the South East a little warmer at 71% opposed to a pay increase.
When asked if they would support a pay increase if the number of MPs were cut then there is a very marked difference by age with 20% support from those aged 50-59, 28% of those 60-69, 37% of those 70-79, and 42% support amongst the 80-89 year olds. There was also a big variation by social class with the highest support amongst the ABs - 33%, then C1 - 24%, C2 - 18%, DE - 13%. There was very little regional difference of opinion over the proposals.
Saga Populus interviewed 11,000 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 10th July and 19th July 2013. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see www.populus.co.uk.
Saga is the leading provider of products and services for the Saga Generations, those aged 50 and over, and publishes the award winning Saga Magazine.