Monday, 8 June 2015

IPSA’s proposed pay rise for MPs

I have been contacted by a number of you about the 10% pay rise which the Independent Parliamentary Standards Board (IPSA) have recommended MPs receive.

I have always been very clear that this is something I feel very strongly about, and it was something many of you spoke to me about during my election campaign – my stance on this remains the same – I absolutely do not support this pay increase.

There is never going to be a good time to increase MPs’ salaries by significantly more than inflation, but if there was ever a wrong time it is definitely now. I welcome the request made by David Cameron that IPSA thinks again on this matter. If an above inflation rise is awarded then I will take the total net after-tax effect on my income and use it to increase the amount I give to local charities.

I believe that MPs should lead by example and while pay increases in the public sector are being restricted I will not support an above-inflation pay increase for MPs. Until we are able to give our hard working public sector staff a reasonable rise, we should not support a significant rise for ourselves. MPs’ salaries are regulated by IPSA, which was set up in the wake of the expenses scandal of 2009/10 in order to remove the decision-making about salaries from MPs. IPSA will make the decision and MPs will neither have the opportunity to vote on the proposed rise, nor will we have the option to refuse it.

It is worth stating that this pay rise will be cost neutral to the tax payer as the money will come from reductions to MPs’ pensions and allowances, measures that that have already been implemented. However, none of this makes it right.'