MPs' pay: Watchdog can 'stick' increase, says Michael Gove


Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy talks to BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire: ''We've got to end this running sore of British political life''

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Education Secretary Michael Gove has told Parliament's spending watchdog to "stick" a planned £6,000 MPs' pay rise.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) says salaries should increase to £74,000 by 2015, but that perks should be cut and pensions made less generous.

Party leaders have criticised the rise but Ipsa's boss argues it will bring MPs into line with other professionals.

Mr Gove called Ipsa "silly" and said parliamentarians were "well paid".

The watchdog is to consult on the rise but MPs cannot block it because they handed control of the decision to the independent body in the wake of the 2009 expenses scandal.

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The overall package will still cost more than it does now although Ipsa says it's made huge savings already in its short life ”

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The Ipsa proposals include:

  • A salary of £74,000 in 2015, with rises after that linked to average earnings across the whole economy
  • A new pension on a par with other parts of the public sector, moving from a final-salary to career-average scheme, which Ipsa says will save taxpayers nearly £2.5m a year
  • Scrapping "resettlement payments", which were worth up to £64,766 for long-serving MPs still of working age, the first £30,000 of which was tax-free. and introducing "more modest" redundancy packages, available only to those who contest their seat and lose
  • A "tighter regime" of business costs and expenses - including an end to the £15-a-night meal allowance and taxis home after late sittings

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.

Asked whether the extra increase should go ahead, Mr Gove said: "Absolutely not. MPs are incredibly well paid at the moment anyway, as are ministers."

He added: "Ipsa - it's a bit of a silly organisation really and pay rise? They can stick it."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The cost of politics should go down, not up. And MPs' pay shouldn't go up while public sector pay is, rightly, being constrained."

'Not a pay rise'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has said he will not take the increase, said it was "about the worst time to advocate a double-digit pay increase for MPs", adding that the public would find it "incomprehensible".

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he did not believe the rise should go ahead - and confirmed he would not take it if it did, but he said he was confident Ipsa would change its recommendation after a public backlash.

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My favourite idea would be to create a new parliamentary charity to which MPs could donate their pay rise”

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"I don't think MPs should be getting a 10% pay rise when nurses and teachers are facing either pay freezes or very low increases and people in the private sector are facing similar circumstances," he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has criticised the proposed increase but a No 10 source declined to comment on whether he would be taking it.

Pressed on the question, the spokesman said: "It's not a pay rise. It's a proposal". He pointed out the package was still to go out to consultation and Downing Street would be submitting its own response.

But Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy defended the proposal, saying: "The history of MPs' pay and pensions is a catalogue of fixes, fudges and failures to act. The package we put forward today represents the end of the era of MPs' remuneration being settled by MPs themselves.

"For the first time, an independent body will decide what MPs should receive. We will do so in full view, and after consultation with the public."

MPs' pay around the world (2012)

Source: Ipsa





UK (Westminster)




United States




Sir Ian told BBC Radio 5 Live's Victoria Derbyshire phone-in programme that MPs should be treated like "modern professionals" and part of the package was a "radical proposal" to introduce an annual "report card" to show the public what MPs did for their money.

He said the pay rise proposal was "fair" because MPs' pay had "fallen back" over the years and they needed to properly rewarded for the job they did, adding that the expenses scandal had been the result of too much pay restraint.

Sir Ian said there was never a good time to increase salaries, but said the changes were designed to "last a generation rather than just respond to the latest political issue", and taken together with the expenses reforms would save taxpayers money.

He said he would over the next two months listen to the views of the public who had taken part in the consultation on the Ipsa website, but he believed the package was not over-generous and was in line with previous recommendations by the senior salaries review board and other bodies.

Sir Ian is paid £700 a day and works on average two days a week, which he said added up to an annual salary of between £60,000 and the "high 70s".

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen backed Ipsa's stance, telling BBC Radio 4's World at One: "I don't believe that MPs are remunerated sufficiently for the job that they do, if you want to attract the right sort of people.

"I don't want Parliament to be only for people of independent wealth, for people who treat it [their salary] as pocket money."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 98.

    61 ade - just what I was about to write!...
    How can they (MPs) possibly expect any respect & trust when they are constantly telling us about the need for all the austerity measures - whilst at the same time getting a 10% pay rise.
    It stinks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 97.

    Can I have a £6,000 pay raise please, instead of my pay cut?

  • rate this

    Comment number 96.

    Paying them more won't alter either the type of candidate who becomes an MP, nor ensure they won't continue to be wooed by other financial interests associated with their party.
    Personally I would like to see all their benefits means tested. The utter hypocrisy of MPs decrying benefit cheats whilst claiming for gardening, nappies, pornographic films and underpants is disgraceful.

  • rate this

    Comment number 95.

    9.3%, I see we are not quite 'all in this together'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 94.

    The main argument for raising pay is too encourage MPs to not claim expenses, take bribes or have second jobs.

    Does this mean if we all break the law repeatedly, we'll have pay rises to encourage us to behave?

  • rate this

    Comment number 93.

    ref salaries for 'comparable' positions.
    In what way is a Head Teacher (proven ability, several promotions over years, managing many staff, ultimate responsibility for a school) and ditto a Police Superintendent or Colonel COMPARABLE with an MP (party hack who is parachuted into a safe seat with no experience).?
    I suggest a newly qualified teacher or PC or private would be a better comparison.

  • rate this

    Comment number 92.

    Why not pay MPs by results - that way the present MPs overseeing a desperate financial crisis should agree to lose £6k!

    On the other hand if they can put things right and put more real spending power into everyone's pockets - then we can happily pay them an extra £12k!

    Paying extra for failure seems daft to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 91.

    So looks like the PM will will use the excuse that it's an Independent Review Body.

    There are independent review bodies for other public sector workers, which hasn't stopped the Tory Government disregarding their conclusions and imposing real term pay cuts and pension contribution rises along with 600,000 job losses.


  • rate this

    Comment number 90.

    At a time when everyone has had to tighten their belt it is inappropriate that MP's are to be awarded a large pay rise they say they don't want. However, as their pay is decided by IPSA they will I am sure take the money and run. Once expenses are added on, their salaries could be 250k if they claim the maximum (over 180k) so what's not to like about the new way pay is awarded.

  • rate this

    Comment number 89.

    9.3% payrise for MP's

    0% payrise for most

    ' We're all in this together '

    Who are you kidding D.C. ! ! !

  • rate this

    Comment number 88.

    I think it only fair that they use exactly the same approach to this independent review of their pay that they used for the firefighters' review back in '03 and completely ignore it, "modernise" and then year on year worsen their conditions. That would be likely to get my approval. Fair's fair. That and make them work almost 40 years to get access to their very generous pensions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 87.

    I work in the private sector and i haven't had a wage increase in over 4 years, but a least my company has the discretion not to cry poverty then give it's top workers a wage increase.

    This infuriates me, public sector spending cuts are affecting people all over the country and i don't just mean it effects those who work in the public sector either

  • rate this

    Comment number 86.

    We should simply fix their increases to pensioners increases. If they get a £1000 increase then so does every pensioner. That would stop this rubbish. What a lot of self serving, greedy, conniving, dishonest, power hungry people we have in our political parties.

  • rate this

    Comment number 85.

    Disgusting! I am so angry with this news!

  • rate this

    Comment number 84.

    Nice work. If you can get it

  • rate this

    Comment number 83.

    A 9.3% pay rise, If I have read this article correctly. Most people have not had any pay rise for years, and any predicted pay rises are slashed. The good thing is, it will finish off this so called Government. Just watch them run around like "headless chickens on speed", sweating and denying it over the next few days, and trying to pass the buck,as the British public condemn this and rightly so.

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    I find it astonishing that this review board or whatever it likes to be named is comparing MP's salaries with the likes of a Colonel and Chief Superintendent. Not only do these people get that salary for knowledge but also because they manage people and money within their respective organisations - who and what do MP's manage other than trying to get as much from the expenses pot as they can??

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    What is IPSA? Who sits on the board? How much are they paid? What criteria do they use to make their decisions?

    All questions I need answered to make a balanced opinion on this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 80.

    Should be paid on results - or put up against a wall.

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Also, I think the BBC should have a link to this so that the public are aware that we cannot allow this to happen.


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