Almost half of MPs think it is "unacceptable" for charities to pay staff more than £100,000 a year, new research has shown.
A survey of 154 MPs by the consultancy nfpSynergy found that 47 per cent said they thought it was definitely or somewhat unacceptable for a charity to pay some of its staff more than £100,000 a year; 35 per cent said they thought it was acceptable.
Half of the Conservative MPs polled thought it was unacceptable for charities to pay more than £100,000 a year and 38 per cent of Labour MPs felt the same way.
Seventy-eight per cent of MPs polled said they thought salaries of more than £200,000 a year were unacceptable; 13 per cent said they were acceptable.
Third Sector’s State of the Sector survey, carried out with nfpSynergy earlier this year, found that 38 per cent of charity employees felt charities should not pay more than £100,000 a year, compared with 47 per cent who thought it was acceptable.
The survey of MPs, carried out in July, found that 52 per cent of them were against charities being allowed to pay their trustees, compared with 23 per cent who thought it was acceptable.
It also found that 89 per cent of Conservative MPs thought it was acceptable for charities to provide front-line services instead of the government, compared with 56 per cent of Labour MPs polled.
Only 5 per cent of Tory MPs said this was unacceptable, compared with 30 per cent of Labour MPs.
Tim Harrison, head of professional audiences at nfpSynergy, said it was encouraging that 35 per cent of MPs thought it was acceptable for charity chief executives to be paid more than £100,000, given the scrutiny that charities have faced over executive pay.
"It will be interesting to see if these attitudes towards pay change if, as we expect, charities provide more and more state services and the line between the two becomes more blurred," he said. "If a charity exists purely to provide services, should their chief executive’s salary differ from public sector pay scales?"