The prime minister says he doesn’t want a pay increase but can’t refuse
Despite huge government cuts and pay freezes for public sector workers, the independent body which sets MPs’ pay has confirmed its intention to increase salaries by 10%.
MPs currently earn a basic salary of £67,000, with money on top of that for ministerial and cabinet positions.
However, it’s set to go up to a £74,000 thanks to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), which thinks MPs’ pay needs to be brought in line with similar jobs or “equivalents” in the public sector. It argues MPs’ pay is currently 78% of those equivalents.
The massive pay rise should be a one off and after that pay will go up in line with MPs constituents’ incomes.
The only way to stop the £7,000 pay increase would be to change the law and abolish Ipsa.
Back in 2013, when it was announced, it was derided by the three main party leaders.
David Cameron called the situation “simply unacceptable” and even threatened to take action to abolish Ipsa, saying: “Ipsa do need to think again, and unless they do so, I don’t think anyone will want to rule anything out.”
However, the prime minister’s official spokesperson told the Guardian: “The prime minister has been absolutely clear that he does not agree with the proposed increases but ultimately it is up to Ipsa – the independent body – to make [its]determination.”
She said if Ipsa continued to press ahead with the 10% increase, it would happen automatically and the PM would not stop it, despite not personally approving of the rise.