Union fury as MPs get set for pay hike

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron

MPs are set for a 10% pay rise taking their pay to £74,000 after David Cameron made clear he will not try to block the watchdog that sets their salaries from implementing the hike.

Downing Street said that although the Prime Minister still opposed the backdated increase, it was ultimately a matter for the Independent Parliamentary Standards (Ipsa) to determine.

It would feel wrong if Ipsa proposed an increase in MPs’ take-home pay at a time when so many people are struggling

Labour Party spokesman

Ipsa first announced the salary bump in 2013 to address complaints that MPs’ pay has dropped behind the rest of the public sector. But the proposed hike was condemned by Mr Cameron as “simply unacceptable” while the rest of the public sector is restricted to 1%.

Asked about the issue last month, the Prime Minister’s spokesman urged the body “to come to a different view”.

But launching a final consultation on the proposals this morning, Ipsa said there appeared to be no “material” reason to change proposals for an increase from the current level of £67,000.

Unless “new and compelling evidence” emerges by the end of the month, the move will be confirmed - with the rise backdated to May 8.

TaxPayers’ Alliance chief executive Jonathan Isaby said: “It’s clear Ipsa is hopelessly out of touch and not fit for purpose. The national debt is still rising and hard-pressed taxpayers are keeping their belts tight so it’s totally inappropriate for these bureaucrats to recommend even higher pay for MPs.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of the GMB union, said: “We look forward to this meaning that MPs will be able to devote 100% of their working time to the interests of their constituents rather than some of them lining their pockets with second, third and fourth paid jobs outside Parliament.”

A Labour Party spokesman said: “It would feel wrong if Ipsa proposed an increase in MPs’ take-home pay at a time when so many people are struggling.”