A debate is raging in the UK after a Tory MP suggested that the £81,932 annual salary that he and other politicians in the House of Commons receive is "really grim."

Sir Peter Bottomley, the 'Father of the House' due to him being the longest-serving MP in the Commons currently, made the comments to The New Statesmen, in which he called the situation "desperately difficult' and believes that MPs should earn a wage that is the equivalent of a GPs.

"Doctors are paid far too little nowadays. But if they would get roughly £100,000 a year, the equivalent for an MP to get the same standard of living would be £110,000-£115,000 a year - it's never the right time, but if your MP isn't worth the money, it's better to change the MP than to change the money." said the 77-year-old MP for Worthing West.

Bottomley has since defended his comments by telling LBC Radio that people coming from higher-paid jobs, such as the deputy general secretary of the college of nursing or a navy captain, would be taking a pay cut if they wanted to become politicians. He also suggested that the number of MPs in parliament be cut by 10 per cent to accommodate for the wage increase.

The reality of the situation is that even at their current salary, MPs wages are £50,000 higher than the average in the UK which is around £31,000, as of 2020.

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So, in the wake of Bottomley's comments, we've drilled down the numbers thanks to data published by the Office of National Statistics in April 2020, which provides the median annual income for each occupation in the UK. Please bear in mind that this is just the average income and that the professionals in these roles full time can earn higher and lower by this is just the average overall.

The jobs listed below are all the occupations that currently pay less than an MP:

  • Actuaries, economists and statisticians - £45,392
  • Advertising account managers and creative directors - £39,663
  • Agricultural and fishing trades - ££22,532
  • Agricultural machinery drivers - £24,960
  • Air transport operatives - £27,038
  • Air conditioning and refrigerator engineers - £36,296
  • Aircraft maintenance and related trades - £38,709
  • Ambulance staff (not paramedics) - £25,652
  • Animal care services - £21,114
  • Architects - £42,930
  • Architectural and town planning technicians - £31,624
  • Archivists and curators - £26,433
  • Artists - £30,421
  • Arts officers, producers and directors - £33,127
  • Assemblers (electrical goods) - £23,433
  • Assemblers (metal and vehicle goods) - £31,692
  • Authors, writers and translators - £28,663
  • Bakers - £19,924
  • Bank and post office clerks - £22,535
  • Bar staff - £18,911
  • Barristers and judges - £41,874
  • Beauticians - £18,881
  • Biological scientist and biochemists - £37,379
  • Boat and shipbuilders - £24,420
  • Book-keeper, payroll managers and wage clerks - £25,984
  • Bricklayers - £27,995
  • Building and civil engineer technicians - £26,650
  • Bus and coach drivers - £27,191
  • Business and financial project management - £50,324
  • Business and related associate professionals - £29,894
  • Business and related research professionals - £35,394
  • Business sales executives - £36,584
  • Business, research and administrative professionals - £49,231
  • Butchers - £22,584
  • Buyers and procurement officers - £31,084
  • Call centre operatives - £20,397
  • Care workers - £19,959
  • Career advisers - £28,770
  • Caretakers - £22,138
  • Carpenters and joiners - £28,488
  • Catering and bar managers - £23,024
  • Chartered and certified accounts - £41,900
  • Chartered surveyors - £37,832
  • Chefs - £ 22,670
  • Chemical operatives - £29,295
  • Chemical scientists - £32,540
  • Child and early year officials - £26,439
  • Childminders - £21,944
  • Civil engineers - £43,663
  • Cleaners - £17,819
  • Cleaning and housekeeping managers - £21,730
  • Clergy - £27,117
  • Communications operators - £28,770
  • Conference and exhibition managers - £27,565
  • Conservation and environmental professionals - £22,457
  • Conservation professionals - £31,433
  • Construction and building trade supervisors - £38,413
  • Construction operatives - £26,460
  • Cooks - £16,964
  • Counsellors - £25,970
  • Crane drivers - £40,317
  • Credit controllers - £24,840
  • Customer service managers - £29,094
  • Customer service occupations - £21,689
  • Debt and rent collectors - £20,775
  • Dental nurses - £18,621
  • Design and development engineers - £41,745
  • Dispensing opticians - £24,737
  • Draught persons - £29,994
  • Education advisers and school inspectors - £41,084
  • Educational support assistants - £17,212
  • Electrical and electronic trades - £34,902
  • Electrical technicians - £35,303
  • Electrical engineers - £50,866
  • Electricians and electrical fitters - £33,495
  • Electronics engineers - £43,295
  • Electroplaters - £25,356
  • Energy planter operatives - £34,755
  • Engineering professionals - £44,164
  • Engineering technicians - £35,857
  • Environment professionals - £36,621
  • Environmental health professionals - £36,828
  • Estate agents and auctioneers - £25,320
  • Estimators and valuers - £32,539
  • Farm workers - £22,667
  • Farmers - £28,126
  • Finance and investment analyst - £37,180
  • Finance officers - £26,831
  • Financial account managers - £38,329
  • Financial and account technicians - £46,058
  • Financial institutions managers and directors - £53,365
  • Financial managers and directors - £67,114
  • Fire service officers - £36,374
  • Fishmongers - £18,033
  • Fitness instructors - £20,843
  • Floorers - £27,780
  • Food, drink and tobacco process operatives - £21,660
  • Forestry workers - £23,892
  • Fork-lift truck drivers - £25,752
  • Functional managers and directors - £57,345
  • Furniture makers - £25,044
  • Garage managers - £36,037
  • Gardeners and landscapers - £21,574
  • Glass and ceramic makers - £22,345
  • Glaziers - £23,483
  • Graphic designers - £29,391
  • Groundsmen - £20,986
  • Hairdressers and barbers - £17,223
  • Hairdress and beauty salon managers - £23,641
  • Health and safety officers - £34,807
  • Health care practice managers - £33,581
  • Health service managers and directors - £50,837
  • Higher education teaching professionals - £51,224
  • Horticultural trades - £20,161
  • Hospital porters - £20,677
  • Hotel managers - £32,000
  • Houseparents and residential wardens - £24,134
  • Housing officials - £28,660
  • Human resource managers and directors - £49,359
  • Human resource administration - £21,292
  • IT business analysts, architects and system designers - £50,775
  • IT engineers - £32,288
  • IT operations technicians - £31,936
  • IT project managers - £49,311
  • IT specialists managers - £51,053
  • IT support technicians - £30,791
  • Importers and exporters - £27,024
  • Industrial cleaners - £20,298
  • IT and telecommunications directors - £69,814
  • Inspectors of standards - £32,250
  • Insurance underwriters - £35,773
  • Journalists and editors - £40,396
  • Kitchen and catering assistants - £17,437
  • Lab technicians - £21,069
  • Large goods vehicle drivers - £30,820
  • Launderers - £17,145
  • Legal associate professionals - £28,517
  • Legal secretaries - £22,366
  • Leisure and sports managers - £32,335
  • Librarians - £26,265
  • Library clerks - £20,592
  • Local government administrative - £25,270
  • Management consultants - £41,866
  • Retail managers and directors - £30,000
  • Storage and warehouse managers - £31,294
  • Transport managers and directors - £40,157
  • Agriculture and horticulture managers - £32,314
  • Marine and waterways operatives - 32,244
  • Market research interviewers - £19,011
  • Marketing and sales directors - £80,759
  • Mechanical engineers - £42,782
  • Medical and dental technicians - £27,509
  • Medical practitioners - £62,219
  • Radiographers - £36,926
  • Window dressers - £24,068
  • Metal makers - £27,551
  • Midwives - £38,736
  • Mobile machine drivers - £30,372
  • National government administration - £26,327
  • Nursery nurse - £18,069
  • Nurses - £33,920
  • Occupational therapists - £32,525
  • Office managers - £32,172
  • Ophlamatic opticians - £43,842
  • Packers - £20,215
  • Painter and decorator - £25,591
  • Paper and machine operators - £24,469
  • Paramedics - £43,180
  • Parking inspector - £21,610
  • Pensions and insurance clerks - £23,571
  • Personal assistant - £28,038
  • Pest control - £24,910
  • Pharmaceutical technician - £23,109
  • Pharmacist - £43,723
  • Photographers - £27,204
  • Physical scientists - £41,505
  • Physio - £33,442
  • Pipe Fitters - £37,656
  • Plasters - £29,772
  • Plastics process operatives - £22,084
  • Plumbers - £32,356
  • Podiatrists - £36,117
  • Police community support officer - £25,841
  • Police officers - £41,701
  • Postal worker - £24,028
  • Precision instrument makers - £28,683
  • Primary school teacher - £36,737
  • Print finishing and binders - £23,518
  • Printers - £25,633
  • Prison officer - £31,025
  • Probation officer - £30,455
  • Product designers - £31,947
  • Property, housing and estate managers - £38,441
  • Psychologists - £42,937
  • PR professionals - £33,604
  • Pub landlord - £40,409
  • Quality control - £38,707
  • Quantity surveyors - £47,213
  • Quarry workers - £31,137
  • Rail construction and maintenance - £34,563
  • Train driver - £47,320
  • Train conductor - £37,376
  • Receptionists - £18,596
  • Refuse operators - £20,572
  • Research and development managers - £49,000
  • Resturant managers - £25,000
  • Retail cashier - £17,721
  • Retail assistants - £18,798
  • Road construction - £30,626
  • Roofers - £26,994
  • Rubber processors - £29,910
  • Sales account managers - £47,842
  • Sales admin - £23,194
  • Sales supervisors - £23,022
  • Scaffolders - £34,451
  • Secondary school teacher - £40,881
  • Security guards - £26,629
  • Sewing machinist - £19,399
  • Sheet metal workers - £26,194
  • Shelf fillers - £17,538
  • Ship operators - £53,705
  • Social and humanities scientists - £32,296
  • Social service managers - £40,611
  • Social workers - £36,306
  • Socilitors - £43,194
  • Special needs teacher - £33,681
  • Speech therapists - £30,343
  • Sports coach - £24,901
  • Steel erectors - £29,540
  • Stock control clerks - £23,893
  • Street cleaner - £20,274
  • TV, Video and audio engineers - £27,622
  • Tax expert - £45,740
  • Taxi driver - £22,394
  • Teaching assistant - £17,904
  • Telecommunication engineers - £34,410
  • Telephone salespersons - £21,578
  • Telephonists - £20,804
  • Textile process operatives - £23,591
  • Tool makers - £31,634
  • Town planning officer - £32,671
  • Travel agents - £24,620
  • Typists - £20,605
  • Tyre, exhaust and windscreen fitters - £22,216
  • Undertaker - £25,973
  • Upholsters - £19,629
  • Van drivers - £22,678
  • Car parts salesperson - £24,142
  • Vehicle painters - £29,908
  • Mechanics - £29,000
  • Vehicle cleaners - £19,992
  • Vets - £39,839
  • Vet nurses - £22,630
  • Waiters - £17,633
  • Waste disposal - £43,052
  • Sewage works operator - £31,955
  • Weavers and knitters - £23,731
  • Web designers - £31,632
  • Welders - £28,496
  • Welfare professionals - £35,453
  • Window cleaners - £20,860
  • Youth workers - £26,000

According to the list, the only jobs that paid more than an MP were aircraft pilots and flight engineers (£92,330) and chief executives and senior officials (£85,239).

If you want to read the data for yourself you can do so here.

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