Radio Sandwell News

MPs' pay: Watchdog recommends pay rise of £6,000

2013-07-11 00:16:10

Mps
Many MPs believe their pay has been held down for
years for political reasons

The MPs' expenses watchdog will recommend a pay rise for MPs to £74,000 but will say there should be cuts to other allowances, the BBC has learned.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson says the body will back a rise for after the 2015 election but will recommend a less generous pension scheme.

There could also be cuts to meal allowances and taxi claims.

The proposals, to be unveiled on Thursday, will go to consultation before being finalised later this year.

MPs are currently paid £66,396, but that is due to rise to £67,060 in April 2014 and rise by a further 1% the following year.

The recommendation amounts to a rise of around £6,300 a year, or 9.3%, on what MPs would be getting in 2015.

'Unthinkable'

The proposals will also mean lower "golden goodbyes" for departing MPs, the BBC has learned.

"Resettlement grants" paid under the old expenses scheme were worth up to £64,766 for long-serving MPs still of a working age, the first £30,000 of which was tax-free.

Quote title

A Labour source pointed out that the law which
created Ipsa forces it to review MPs' pay again
at the start of the next Parliament, so this pay
rise was "pie in the sky"

 

Nick Robinson

 

Political editor

But Nick Robinson said he understood that money saved would not fully offset the increase in MPs' salaries.

Leading politicians have already spoken out against a pay rise for MPs, at a time when there is a pay freeze elsewhere in the public sector. David Cameron has said such a rise would be "unthinkable" and Nick Clegg said he would not take one.

But Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) chairman Sir Ian Kennedy has warned them not to interfere, as putting off difficult decisions was what lay behind the 2009 expenses crisis.

Thursday's recommendations are also expected to include a formula to determine how MPs' pay will rise in future.

In a speech last week, Sir Ian said the watchdog had been "impressed by the idea that MPs' pay should move in line with the fortunes of those they represent, such that MPs' pay would be indexed to movements in national average earnings. If the average wage goes up, MPs' pay would go up. If the average wage falls, MPs' pay would fall."

MPs used to vote on their own pay but from 2008, recommended pay rises were made by the Senior Salaries Review Body which were supposed to take place automatically.

However its recommendation for a 1% rise in 2011-12 was voted down by MPs, at the instigation of the government, because of a two-year pay freeze imposed on the public sector.

In May 2011, powers to set and administer MPs' salaries passed to Ipsa, which went on to freeze MPs' pay for 2012-13.

MPs and members of the public will be able to take part in a consultation before Ipsa publishes its final plans - expected in the autumn - which would then come into force without the need for further legislation.

Mps

 

Source: bbc.co.uk

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