Pay rise not decided by MPs, politicians stress
PROPOSALS for a pay hike for MPs will not be decided by the politicians.
Gloucestershire MPs have made it clear they are no longer the ones setting their own pay after a survey showed more than two-thirds of Westminster politicians thought they were under-paid.
The expenses watchdog, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), now had responsibility for MPs salaries, they stressed.
Research by the pollsters YouGov for Ipsa, which is reviewing MPs pay and pensions, found 69 per cent of MPs thought they were underpaid on £65,738.
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On average, they recommended a salary of £86,250 – a 32 per cent increase on their current pay.
The Tories, on average, said their salary should be £96,740, while Lib Dems thought the right amount was £78,361 and Labour £77,322. The research found that 27 per cent of the MPs who were asked wanted their pay to go up by more than one per cent over the next two years.
It comes despite public sector rises and most working age benefits being controversially capped at that level. However, nearly two-thirds supported Ipsa's decision to impose the same discipline.
Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham Martin Horwood said it was right that any decision on pay should be made by an independent board rather than by the politicians.
He added: "I am pleased it's now not MPs themselves that have to decide this. We set up Ipsa in order to take the decision away from MPs themselves. I did take a very slight pay cut to work in parliament, but was happy to do that because I wanted to do the job for Cheltenham."
Mr Horwood called on Ipsa to bear in mind the public's reaction in setting MPs pay.
"I do think I would find it difficult to look fire-fighters, civil servants, and teachers in the face if we ask them to freeze their salaries and Ipsa give us a huge pay rise," he said.
Tory MP for Tewkesbury Laurence Robertson said: "We are not setting our own pay. It's for Ipsa to sort out."
Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Conservative MP for the Cotswolds declined to comment.