Thursday, 4 June 2015

MPs' Pay

I have long held the view that MPs' pay needs to be re-set. It was artificially held down for many years, which means Parliament is at risk of deterring talented people from humble backgrounds from entering politics. I also agree it should be benchmarked to other comparable public sector jobs, and decided independently ie not by politicians themselves.

MP's pay has now been reviewed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which decided on a 10% pay rise, but less generous pensions. It is hoped the costs would be covered by cutting the number of MPs - blocked by the Lib Dems in the last Parliament, but part of our plan as a Conservative government.

Every MP needs to work out for him or herself what is the right thing to do, and be accountable locally for that. In my view, whilst MPs' pay needs to be re-set, it is difficult to justify it when the rest of the public sector is seeing pay frozen or capped at 1%. Therefore, as I made clear during the election campaign, so long as there remains a freeze or 1% pay cap in the public sector, I won't accept a pay rise myself. 

Oddly, it seems MPs can't just request IPSA not to pay it. So, the only option may be to have the extra amount deducted, and given to a local charity - in which case that is what I would do.


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