Ipsa: MPs back 32% pay increase
MPs have told the watchdog reviewing their pay that they deserve a 32% hike to £86,250.
A survey carried out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) also found more than a third believe they should keep generous final salary pensions.
The findings emerged as Ipsa published a report on its initial consultation into pay and pensions, which ended last month. The research, which politicians completed anonymously, found that 69% thought they were underpaid on £65,738. The average level suggested for the salary was £86,250.
Ipsa also confirmed that it is not proposing to introduce performance-related pay, regional pay or to take outside earnings into account.
Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said: "In the past, MPs have agreed their pay and pensions among themselves. So this new approach of independent decision-making marks a real and important change and is another crucial step in helping Parliament to regain the trust of the public.
"The consultation we held over the autumn has been hugely informative and important in directing our thinking. It also serves to show the spread of views and depth of feeling on this issue. We remain committed to listening and I would urge people to get involved in this debate."
YouGov conducted online interviews with 100 MPs on Ipsa's behalf. Conservatives were the most likely to believe they were underpaid, with 47% saying that was the case. Some 39% of Labour members and 9% of Lib Dems held the same view. On average, Tories said their salary should be £96,740, while Lib Dems thought the right amount was £78,361 and Labour £77,322. Other parties put the figure at £75,091.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "At a time when millions of workers are getting zero pay rises, the idea that MPs believe they deserve a 32% increase is living in cloud cuckoo land. MPs should get real about pay, this shows they are totally out of touch with working people. How can they think that they deserve a 32% increase when the rest of the country is being told to tighten their belts?"
Asked what David Cameron thought of MPs' demand for more pay, the Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The Prime Minister's view is that MPs' pay is a matter for Ipsa. The 'i' in Ipsa stands for 'independent'."
When asked whether the PM believed that MPs should be subject to the same pay restraint as public sector workers, the spokesman said: "The Government's position on public sector pay is well-known."