MPs could get pay rise of up to £6,000
A report published this morning by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) recommends a pay increase for MPs of nearly 9%, taking their salaries to £74,000, to come into effect in 2015. The report does suggest that business costs and expenses allowances should be reduced and for a tighter regulation of perks like evening meals and taxis.
IPSA chairman, Sir Ian Kennedy, said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “The package we put forward today represents the end of the era of MPs’ remuneration being settled by MPs themselves.” He claimed the measures, including reducing MPs’ pensions in line with other public-sector workers’, will save the taxpayer £7.5 million in 2015.
However, the suggested 9% rise in MPs’ pay would be far greater than that of other public sector workers, whose pay rises have been capped at 1%. MPs currently get paid nearly three times the national average wage and further increases over and above this will likely garner a public backlash. The perceived unfairness has already been pounced upon by a number of prominent figures, including several senior MPs from the three major parties.
Deputy prime minister, Nick Clegg, is against the idea, saying this morning on LBC’s Call Clegg: “I really do think that, if we are going to have an approach towards the public sector, then everybody has got to be treated as fairly and as equally as possible in the public sector.”
Meanwhile, Labour leader, Ed Miliband was even more vehement in his opposition, saying: “I don’t think MPs should be getting a 10% pay rise when nurses and teachers are facing either pay freezes or very low increases and people in the private sector are facing similar circumstances…. If this was to go ahead I wouldn’t be accepting this pay rise.”
The education secretary Michael Gove told ITV: “As far as I am concerned about this pay rise they can stick it.”
The backlash against the proposals has already swept across the political spectrum with Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS union, saying they would “simply fuel public anger and resentment,” while Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance described the move as “totally unpalatable”.