Majority of MPs Think Generous Salaries are Unacceptable in Charities, Survey Shows

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25th September 2014 11:01 - Voluntary

Almost half (47%) of MPs think it is unacceptable for charities to pay highly positioned members of staff salaries over £100,000 a year, compared to around one third (35%) who thought it was appropriate.

The survey also questioned 480 charity staff and discovered that, in contrast, almost half (47%) thought salaries in excess of £100,000 were acceptable, with around two fifths (38%) opposing the generous earnings.

When the question was changed and challenged MPs (154 collectively) and charity staff on salaries over £200,000 a year, seven in 10 (70%) charity staff and more than three quarters (77%) of MPs opposed. Around one sixth (16%) of charity workers and 13% of the MPs surveyed believed salaries over £200,000 were acceptable.

Furthermore, more than one quarter (27%) of the general public said they would be confident a charity would spend their donation well if they weren’t paying members of staff over £100,000 per year.

The study also revealed that almost nine in 10 (89%) Conservative MPs think it is acceptable for charities to provide frontline services instead of the government, with just over half (56%) of Labour MPs concurring. Just one in 20 (5%) Conservative MPs opposed this approach, compared to the three in 10 (30%) Labour MPs who disagreed.

In addition, almost half (46%) of charity workers think that charities do a better job than the government at delivering public services, with more than two fifths (43%) in favour of more public services being delivered by charities.

And, finally, the survey’s findings showed that around one fifth (18%) of Conservative MPs think charities should pay its trustees, compared to more than one third (36%) of Labour MPs. More than half (51%) of the general public are against this idea.

Tim Harrison, nfpsynergy’s Head of Professional Audiences, said: “With an election less than nine months away, these findings give us an insight into the role MPs believe charities will play in the next Parliament. With a Conservative majority, we can certainly expect to see charities being offered more frontline service contracts. It is a policy that plays well with the sector and we can expect to see it in the Conservative manifesto.”

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