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 918.

    I want an "independent" review of what I get paid also, based not on the present circumstances but on what I am worth. Seems like the Ipsa is a flawed org with a flawed set of criteria to base their decisions on? It needs to be reformed? or maybe when it was setup the mps cynically knew this & were laughing all the way to the bank?

  • rate this

    Comment number 917.

    There is a simple solution: couple MP pay to the average of the rest of the public sector.

    High pay attracts the wrong type of person - remember the wunch of bankers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 916.


    In it together?

    Not deserved, warranted or justified.

    When and if the MPs actually served the people, rather than their own narrow party politics and self interests there may be a case for this, but the vast majority of MPs, in and out of government are in the game for the power.

    They no longer do the best for the people, but they certainly do the best for the bankers, lobbists etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 915.

    The majority of MP's do not deserve a £6,000 pay rise, in face G. Osborne should be paying us back.

  • rate this

    Comment number 914.

    I got told at work today, that my demand for an increase in salary was unjustified during this time of austerity and that I'll have to make do......

    My expenses for my house, travel, food and assistant were also denied, as was my demand for doubling my holiday to 54 days a year.....

  • rate this

    Comment number 913.

    Not a bad renumeration for a part time job me thinks...

  • rate this

    Comment number 912.

    re: 875 erm... £66k + expenses (rent / mortgage costs, food, travel costs etc) how is that peanuts? The £66k is basically for them to spend as they like everything else practically they get paid for, pretty good deal really, I wish I got that but instead out of my £22k salary I have pay for my mortgage, bills, food etc just like every other normal person in this country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 911.

    Hang your head in shame Mcshane, caught with his fingers in the till.
    No doubt he'll got off with it or a very light sentence and be released early for good behaviour.

  • rate this

    Comment number 910.

    The two top current headlines on the BBC main page at 11.25am :-

    Watchdog suggests £6000 MP pay rise
    MP charged with false expenses accounting

    QED my comment #608

  • rate this

    Comment number 909.

    Being an MP should not be about money, they are here to serve us. For many of them their MP salary is just pocket money anyway.

    I work in the public sector by choice, but if I wanted more money, I'd find a job in the private sector. I suggest the same for MPs who feel they deserve more money.

    I suggest a vote of no confidence in the government.

  • rate this

    Comment number 908.


    if this goes thro' then the next step should be the halve the size of both the Lords and Westminster. 700 less fiddlers to monitor.
    If the IPSA get paid? Then scrap them also.

  • rate this

    Comment number 907.


    Ben did you read the article. The IPSA are independent of MP's. From what I can see the MP's are saying that they shouldn't have the raise that the IPSA have recommended. Which is quite right

  • rate this

    Comment number 906.

    MPs are woefully underpayed. I want MPs to be drawn from a pool that includes successful businessmen, doctors, lawyers and accountants (as well as teachers, civil servants, charity workers and trade unionists). A successful private sector professional, by age 45, will be earning two or three times the MP's salary. I want capable MPs, not just unselfish ones.

  • rate this

    Comment number 905.

    Exactly the kind of thing I have come to expect from our government. The argument I have heard in favour of the rise is "we need to pay them more so the next gen want to get into politics or; we need money for travel expenses'. You get into politics for money?? thought it was to make change.Before I moved to london it cost 600 p/month for travel from WAGES! NOT EXPENSES! Why are they different?

  • rate this

    Comment number 904.

    No idea where IPSA got it figures? If they think a head teacher is on £75k therefore an MP should be they are wrong. A head teacher is overpaid. Due to austerity, for the poor, there should be a pay freeze. There should be no contribution to pension from the taxpayer and expenses allowed should be restricted to travel and subsistence only and for 2 years as HMRC limits the rest of the country to.

  • rate this

    Comment number 903.

    They try to compare their wages with Generals, Police superintendents etc, but to my knowledge those professions do not have second homes meal allowances etc, so who are they going to kid.

  • rate this

    Comment number 902.

    Look, this is an independent body making a recommedation

    It’s thinking like yours that made this nation great

    Just ponder this for me

    The leveson enquiry made some independant recomedation about the press

    It was total ignored and I am sure will never be implemented

  • rate this

    Comment number 901.

    This just seems to be another middle finger to the British public, as most people haven't had a pay rise over 1% and yet mps get a £6000 pay rise. People are struggling to coupe with their wages been so low as inflation keeps increasing but their wages doesn't. Bills are constantly increasing and the British public have to make cuts on spending, no wondering the economy is in the drain

  • rate this

    Comment number 900.

    Like many people in private industry I haven't had a pay rise for many years (since 2006 in fact), so to hear MPs being recommended a pay rise approaching 10% really makes me angry.

    MPs pay should reflect the general economic conditions of the country - to encourage them to get the country right!

  • rate this

    Comment number 899.

    The main issue/problem is about timing, at a time when lowly paid Civil Servants & other members of society are told to tighten their belt, no salary increase or 1% & trying to survive! With better timing, many will support the idea. An MP's role is not part-time, rather it is full time job & many are Professionals and just as smart as the bankers that got us into the mess that we are in.


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