MPs are in line for pay rises of up to £3,300 next year, it has emerged.
Announcing the launch of a consultation on how MPs’ pay should be updated, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) said any rise should be linked to growth in public sector earnings.
The rise of 4.1% would mean that some MPs would earn an extra £3,359 on top of their salary of £81,932.
The news comes as hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis, with concerns that more will follow.
.@nadhimzahawi: "I don't think a payrise is appropriate."@skynewsniall: "Well then [the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority] isn't fit for purpose."— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) October 9, 2020
Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi reacts to news that MPs salaries are set to rise by over £3,500. DC#KayBurley pic.twitter.com/HosTp3LbKz
Publishing its consultation on how MPs’ pay should be updated, IPSA said: “We have a statutory duty under the Parliamentary Standards Act 2009 to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each parliament.
“We decided after consulting in 2012, 2013 and 2015 that the best way to update MPs’ pay periodically was to link it to a transparent, external benchmark, and that the most appropriate benchmark was a measure of earnings.
“This consultation proposes to retain that approach, using the Office of National Statistics (ONS) Average Weekly Earnings figure reflecting changes in public sector earnings for the period ahead.”
Richard Lloyd, IPSA’s Interim Chair, said: “IPSA is responsible for setting MPs’ pay and pensions. We act independently of parliament and have a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each parliament.
“We carried out a major review of MPs’ pay with consultations in 2012, 2013 and 2015, and technical adjustments in 2018. Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we do not think it is right to depart from this approach now.”
The consultation will close on 6 November 2020 and IPSA is expected to make a decision in December 2020.
Answering questions on whether a pay rise for MPs is appropriate given the current climate, business minister Zadhim Zahawi told Sky News that using IPSA was better than the previous system where MPs decided their own pay.
He said: “It’s independent, but I think it’s incumbent on the leadership of IPSA to also explain to the public – because we all exist in the same social fabric of society and the court of public opinion is important – as to why they think this is the right thing to do.”
Asked if he would return the money or consider giving it to a food bank, he said he would potentially look at donating it to one of his “very good causes”, including the Shakespeare Hospice in his Stratford-upon-Avon constituency.
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