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 938.

    Comparisons to other jobs is stupid: being an MP is only a full time job if they can't get something better and most other jobs don't have the same ludicrous benefits.
    I agree basic pay should be higher but only if everything else is taken away AND the second jobs banned. Not to mention a raise of this level for MPs while ALL other civil servants is so much lower is a kick in the teeth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 937.

    Oh the hypocrisy!
    At a time when public sector workers are enduring wage freezes and private sector workers are lucky not to get a pay cut, the decision makers deem themselves deserving of a whopping rise.
    How utterly arrogant!

  • rate this

    Comment number 936.

    After 3 years of pay freezes and a paltry 1% increase until 2016 most people will be outraged by this, especially in local government where we were denied even the promised £250 extra for low paid workers. Averages are distorted by extreme values. I would like to see the MPs wage rises linked to the lowest earners in the sector, at no more than 5 times their wages.

  • rate this

    Comment number 935.

    Question Time tonight should be interesting. Juxapositional questioning between whether MPs or BBC executives have their noses in the most giving of troughs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 934.

    OINK ! OINK! every few years, our 'Elites' dip their snouts in again. This is what we KNOW. Can you imagine the perks they get on the side!!
    You couldn't make this up. The UK is a vast cesspit of corruption, but move along dear..there's nothing to see here....

  • rate this

    Comment number 933.

    Simple really. Local media contact all sitting MPs and opposing candidates before the next election and ask them if they will accept the new rates of pay or donate the increase to a recognised national charity.

    The responses (or the names of those that don't respond) are published and the electorate can use that information to help them to decide who to vote for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 932.

    This government's credibility 'was' nil... now it's way in minus figures!

  • rate this

    Comment number 931.

    My gosh they are all in the TROUGH together , how can this be justified when there are tens of thousands of people living below the bread line , and relying on food banks , while these parasites just milking the system .

  • rate this

    Comment number 930.

    I'm afraid the general trend of comments on this thread is simply naive. The 'if I can't have it why should you' theme simply doesn't get us better government.

    Double their salaries but halve the number of MPs. We need quality not quantity.

  • rate this

    Comment number 929.

    Once again it shows the 'nose in the trough' culture that exists with MP's From expenses to the actual time they spend working on behalf of their constituents, to foreign travel and the generous pension arrangements. We see and hear much hot air from them but frankly what do they achieve as individual MP's. I hope they have the courage to reject any increase but I doubt they will.

  • rate this

    Comment number 928.

    'The fact is that MPs can't actually refuse to accept this increase.'

    Marget Thatcher took an MPs pay when PM and no one has ever 'forced' them to fill in a expense form!

  • rate this

    Comment number 927.

    What part of this agreement do MP's not want to receive?
    If it is the whole package then I think they maybe trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
    If they refuse just the pay rise but accept the changes to Pensions allowances and resettlement payments then I say Good on you. .

  • rate this

    Comment number 926.

    The answer to all the griping on this forum is a UK Spring, but unfortunately it would only replace one bunch of crooks with another.

  • rate this

    Comment number 925.

    As if we need more proof they are only in it for the money. Lets ee if those MP's who said they will not accept it do otherwise. Politicians are famed for going back on their promise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 924.

    "Tough decisions, Difficult Choices" Glib phrases used when cutting public sector workers pay and pensions. Now it relates to an increase in their pay I notice the phrase "we can't stop it". This is simply another case of MP's lining their own pockets. If any of them had any moral fibre then they would make the "Tough decision" and refuse any pay rise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 923.

    Why is anyone surprised in the slightest?

    We already knew they're absolutely shameless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 922.

    I would be wholly in support of this if they worked to solve the key issues which affect us, such as the impending energy crisis, EU membership, Education, NHS, the economy....

    Instead of just kicking the can further down the line!

    Until we see clear decisive resolutions on these issues, no salary increase should even be considered!

  • rate this

    Comment number 921.

    Ipsa is governed by people of equal or higher position than the MPs, they're all bound to be friends and it's ultimately the rich and upper class watching out for the rich and upper class.
    The whole point of Ipsa was to reduce frivolous spending, not suggest we increase it!
    There isn't a facepalm big enough to express how much of a stupid idea this is.

  • rate this

    Comment number 920.

    Gruel for dinner....
    I take it the bilderberg's ruled this was acceptable for selling out your peoples?

  • Comment number 919.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.


Page 41 of 87


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