Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

MPs in line for dramatic pay rise

Any significant rise to MPs' pay is set to cause controversy
Any significant rise to MPs' pay is set to cause controversy

MPs are in line for a dramatic pay rise of up to £20,000 in a move that could spark public fury.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has been looking at an increase of between £10,000 and £20,000 - although the lower figure is considered more likely.

The hike would be partly offset by curbs to their gold-plated pensions and personal expenses.

Ipsa took responsibility for MPs' salaries and pensions two years ago, and has been carrying out a fundamental review.

A survey released by the watchdog in January found politicians on average believed they should be paid £86,000 rather than £66,000, with some demanding more than £100,000.

Speaker John Bercow is among those who have been pushing for better remuneration, warning that the Commons must attract people from all backgrounds.

Ipsa is due to deliver its initial proposals for consultation next month, although the main changes will not come into effect until after the general election in 2015.

However, any significant rise is certain to be controversial as the economy continues to struggle and the rest of the public sector is subject to tight pay restraint.

Officials are concerned that David Cameron and other party leaders may find it difficult to back such an increase.

Last month ministers acted to reduce the government element of their pay so they did not benefit from a 1% increase granted to MPs.

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