Higher pay wouldn’t have stopped the expenses crisis

Consider this:  “According to the United Nations, the average Kenyan makes $777 a year. Yet members of Kenya’s parliament are among the highest paid in the world, with a compensation package of £145, 565 (most of it tax-free). That is 187 times more than the country’s average income and would be the equivalent of an American congressman making $8.5 million a year. And this is simply what is earned legally.”¹

What’s worse, despite earning such a high pay, Kenya is the most corruption nation in East Africa (according to a recent report by Transparency International) and one of the most corrupt nations on earth.

Back in the UK, our MPs earn around £60,000 a year, the average wage is around £30,000 a year and yet many of our parliamentarians were tempted to take more in expenses claims.  It is often argued that, if they’d have just been given a bit more money, many MPs wouldn’t have had to file such egregious claims.

High pay in Kenya doesn’t prevent corruption, so why would paying our MPs more have prevented the expenses crisis?

¹East Africa: the most corrupt country, New York Review of Books, Jan 14th 2010.