MPs tight-lipped over their proposed pay rise

Published: 19 Jul 2013 11:301 comment

THE MPs for Bracknell, Wokingham and Ascot have all refused to say whether they would accept a 10% pay rise in the next two years.

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The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has proposed MPs salaries should increase to £74,000 by 2015 - compared with £66,396 now.

The authority has also suggested a cut in expenses including abolishing a £15-a-night meal allowance.

Leading politicians including Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Education Secretary Michael Gove and Labour leader Ed Milliband have all criticised the proposals.

They have said politicians are already well paid and believe the move would face a severe public backlash.

Mr Milliband said he would refuse the increase, as he considered it was inappropriate at a time when many workers in the country were facing pay freezes or very low rises.

John Redwood, MP for Wokingham, said: "Parliament voted some time ago to set up an independent body called IPSA.

"This authority was charged with the task of setting and administering MPs pay and expenses, free of interference from MPs and without further Parliamentary votes.

"There was a mood in the media that independent people should take evidence, listen to the public view, and conclude on pay and expenses. I am not expressing a view on the leaks of IPSA's intentions.

"Now we have an independent system IPSA should propose and IPSA should defend its proposals, explaining them to the public."

IPSA was created in 2009 following the expenses scandal, and Adam Afriyie, MP for Windsor - whose constituency includes Ascot, Binfield and Warfield - said there were no simple "yes/no answers" as to whether MPs deserved a pay rise, following last week's proposals.

When asked whether he would accept such an increase, he said: "This is not just about salary levels for MPs it's also about the costly bureaucratic mess that IPSA has created which adds millions to the cost for taxpayers.

"You cannot solve the problem simply by adjusting MPs pay you have to save money on the IPSA and the ridiculously complicated costly and counterproductive schemes they've introduced.

"Given that I have been subsidizing the taxpayer for my work as MP for the last eight years - by not making claims for travel, expenses, subsidence or accommodation - I will wait to see what IPSA decides on salary.

Dr Phillip Lee, MP for Bracknell, has declined to say whether he would or would not accept the possible pay rise.

He added: "All matters are referred to an independent regulator and it would all be their decision."

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