MPs’ salary hike debate

Ed Miliband, Doncaster MP and Labour leader. Picture: Marie Caley D4774MC
Ed Miliband, Doncaster MP and Labour leader. Picture: Marie Caley D4774MC
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Plans to hike MPs’ pay to £74,000 have been condemned by Doncaster MP and Labour leader Ed Miliband

Mr Miliband said he would personally shun the extra cash.

He said: “If this was to go ahead I wouldn’t be accepting this pay rise but I don’t think it is going to go ahead in the current circumstances because I think that when Ipsa consult the public, the public will be pretty clear that while the difficulties we have in the economy persist we can’t have MPs getting a 10 per cent pay rise.”

But the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) chairman Sir Ian Kennedy remained defiant, insisting it was doing the right thing and MPs’ pay had to “catch up” after years of being suppressed.

The row exploded after Ipsa unveiled proposals for an 11 per cent rise from the current level of £66,396, adding £4.6 million to the Commons salary bill once national insurance is factored in.

The package, due to take effect in 2015, will be offset with curbs to pensions, “golden goodbyes”, and expenses for dinners, TV licences and taxis.

Ipsa said the overall burden on the taxpayer will only go up by £500,000 when all the changes are taken into account. It is also urging politicians to publish an annual “MoT” explaining the work they have done for the money they receive.

Downing Street refused to comment on whether the Prime Minister would accept the increase, stressing there would be a consultation before the regulator reached a final decision.

“The cost of politics should go down not up. And MPs’ pay shouldn’t go up while public sector pay is rightly being constrained,” a Number 10 spokesman said.