Gloucestershire MPs pay comes under review
A REVIEW is putting the issue of MPs' pay under the spotlight.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is studying whether the current salary of £65,738 for MPs is suitable.
Sir Ian Kennedy, who is heading the review, has to decide whether the salary is high enough to attract exceptional candidates, without being deemed excessive in the eyes of the public.
Martin Horwood, Liberal Democrat MP for Cheltenham, believes the current salary level is appropriate.
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He said: "It is not as much as some other jobs but we are still getting plenty of applicants which suggests it is a competitive rate.
"I think it is a generous standard by most people's standards.
"I am aware quite a lot of people think it is a lot but it is not as much as pay in some comparable jobs.
"I think IPSA should take into account the current economic situation when they make their decision."
Neil Carmichael, Conservative MP for Stroud, advocates the creation of an independent salary system.
But he thinks there are more important things to worry about.
"I think that there should be an independent system of deciding what MPs' salaries are and I think that would take a lot of the trouble out of the argument," he said.
"I don't give a huge amount of consideration to this matter on a personal level because I am concentrating on doing the job and there are more important things than worrying about what your salary is.
"I'm in politics to look after the good people of Stroud."
The average salary for parliamentary representatives in other developed countries is significantly higher at around £86,000.
One of the changes that has been floated for Westminster is the introduction of a two-tier system which would see 'part-time' MPs who receive an income outside of Parliament paid less than their 'full time' colleagues.
Sir Kennedy will also be examining the pensions Members of Parliament receive when they retire.
MPs' pensions are often higher than others in the public sector.
Richard Graham, Conservative MP for Gloucester, said he did not wish to comment on the issue.