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Local MPs divided over plans to boost their pay packet 11 per cent at a time of public austerity
A NORTH YORKSHIRE MP has slammed plans to boost Parliamentarians’ pay by 11 per cent while other public sector pay increases have been capped at one per cent, and has pledged to donate any rise she gets to charity.
The Tory MP said she was “shocked and hugely disappointed” that IPSA had ignored pleas from the government to consider wider austerity measures and not award large pay rises to MPs.
She said: “I would have no hesitation in donating any inappropriate increase to charity and will invite constituents to nominate the most worthy cause for this purpose.”
Mr Bayley said: “I have argued for years that MPs should not set their own pay. Now we have an independent body it should do what it believes is right, and MPs should not interfere or try to influence them in any way.”
IPSA is expected to recommend pay should go up to £74,000 after the 2015 election – 11 per cent higher than the current rate or nine per cent higher than the 2015 pay would be with normal pay increases.
Mr Sturdy said: “I welcome the proposals to scrap many of the outdated expenses, as well as the scaling back of MPs pensions and payments when they leave office. The cost of politics should be coming down, especially in light of the pay restraint across the public sector and I am disappointed that IPSA has not taken this into account.”
Prof Martin Smith, of the University of York’s politics department, said the situation was difficult to address without having a wider debate about trust in politics and the kind of MPs the public wants.
MPs could, in theory, pass a fresh law to stop IPSA putting up pay but this would bring their pay back into their own control, Prof Smith said.
But that would be problematic because some MPs believe they deserved a pay rise to bring their salaries into line with other senior public sector wages, and it give MPs control over their own pay – the very situation IPSA was set up to avoid in the wake of the expenses scandal, he said.
Prof Smith said: “I think to a degree MPs have been underpaid, so I don’t think this is that unreasonable. We don’t want a situation where the only people who are MPs are those who already have their own income.”
Miliband urges cross-party support to block pay rise
Labour leader Ed Miliband has called for a cross-party approach to prevent a proposed 11 per cent pay rise for MPs going ahead.
Mr Miliband is among a number of senior polticians who have condemned the plan being drawn up by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) for a £7,600 hike in MPs’ salaries to £74,000 after the 2015 General Rlection.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond indicated he would not accept the extra cash while armed forces’ pay was being pegged back, while Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said the public would find it “utterly incomprehensible” if IPSA defied concerted calls from David Cameron, Mr Miliband and Nick Clegg to show restraint.
IPSA was given responsibility for Westminster pay and perks in the wake of the expenses scandal with MPs stripped of the power to set their own pay.
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