If a single MP claims £20,000 for waxing his drawbridge on top of this, he enters the top 1% of earners.
Even if an MP has a non-working partner and four children, his salary, plus £20,000 of second home allowance, puts him in the richest one-fifth of households.
Even if we concede that an MP works longer hours than average and look at hourly pay, MPs are still better off than most - in the top quartile for single persons.
However you cut it, then, MPs are unrepresentative of their constituents in terms of earnings.
What could justify this?
The Times argues that MPs should be paid £90,000 a year - similarly to GPs or head-teachers. This, I think, is mistaken. It takes years of experience and training to become a GP or head-teacher. No such qualifications are necessary for MPs. And GPs and head-teachers must exercise considerable judgment. MPs don’t. As Alice Miles writes:
Yes, MPs should get more than this to reflect the fact that most of them must incur the expense of a second home. But the idea that they are under-paid now reflects, I suspect, the media’s “middle England” fallacy - the mistaken belief that high incomes are far more common than they in fact are.