MPs promise to refuse 11% pay increase
MPs have pledged to turn down the 11% pay increase that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has recommended for them, branding it “utterly incomprehensible”.
The pay rise, which would take an MP’s salary to £74,000 a year, is 11% more than they are paid now, and 9.9% more than the average wage will rise in 2015-16 according to average inflation and wage increases.
The rise is set to come into effect from May 2015, and IPSA, who do not need parliament’s permission to go ahead with the increase, have been criticised for their decision to add £4.6 million to the taxpayer’s burden.
Defence secretary Philip Hammond, speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, said that MPs need to set an example in a time of austerity. He said: “So long as I’m the defence secretary presiding over a situation where the troops that serve our country so brilliantly are facing a 1% pay rise, I won’t be taking a pay increase.”
“Whatever the rights and wrongs of whether MPs’ pay is too high, too low, comparable to other people, at a time when we are asking people across the public sector – nurses, doctors, teachers – to accept pay restraint, Members of Parliament have to be seen to be leading the way,” he added.
Chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, agreed that the public were likely to be outraged at such an increase. “Most people will find it utterly incomprehensible that at a time of pay restraint for the public sector, at a time of further squeezes on government spending, that IPSA should be recommending [this increase],” he said.
All three party leaders disagreed with the pay rise when it was initially proposed in the summer, and today Labour Party leader Ed Miliband said that he was unlikely to be recommending to Labour MPs that they accept the pay rise.
It remains to be seen whether IPSA will take into account the views of MPs on the pay proposals. A Downing Street spokesman said: “MPs’ pay is a matter for IPSA. The Government has submitted its views to IPSA as part of the body’s consultation on MPs’ pay.”