MPs’ pay rises in Labour firing line

MPs’ pay rises in Labour firing line

By staff

MPs' pay rises are in peril this week, as Labour leader Ed Miliband reportedly mulls ruling out anything more than a one per cent pay rise after the next general election.

Expenses watchdog Sir Ian Kennedy is expected to recommend a substantial increase on the £65,738 salary currently paid to members of parliament on Friday.

His Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) is set to outline its proposals for a pay rise of up to £20,000 in an event later this week.

A YouGov survey of 100 MPs found over two-thirds believe they are underpaid. The original expectation of an increase to £86,000 is now considered unlikely, with a recommendation to give MPs a pay rise to £75,000 now viewed most plausible.

The recommendation could be rejected outright by Labour, the Mail on Sunday reported. Ed Miliband could call for MPs to see a pay hike of just one per cent – or £650 – to keep in line with other public sector workers.

Such a move would ignore a warning from Speaker John Bercow to the party leaders to resist using MPs' pay as a political football.

"I do think there is some historical resentment that party leaders who either had a higher salary by virtue of their office or who have had access to other sources of finance have been very quick to tell ordinary MPs what they should and shouldn't be paid," he said earlier this year.

"When you've got other means from whatever source, it's quite easy to do that and I don't think it's terribly clever or brave.

"The party leaders mustn't do what they've always done. The generals have always abandoned the troops and engaged in a Dutch auction to appease the public by saying, 'well of course, I won't take a rise, I will tell my colleagues that they shouldn't take a rise'."

David Cameron has not yet stated his position on the issue.