MPs’ pay rise scrapped after backlash over proposed £3,000 wage hike

Plans to give MPs a pay rise of more than £3,000 have been scrapped, the parliamentary pay watchdog has said.

Finally, the Government has been shamed into reaching this obvious conclusion following: “The Public Sector saved Britain. So why are MPs who broke us getting a rise?”

Owl discusses local MPs’ reaction below.

Lizzy Buchan

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said hiking MP pay next year would be “inconsistent” with the financial hardship faced by many workers during the pandemic.

The watchdog said in October that MPs could be entitled to a 4.1% rise in April, taking their salaries to £85,291 – despite wage freezes for millions of public sector workers.

But the comments provoked a major backlash, with even Boris Johnson’s spokesman saying the Prime Minister was against the hike.

Confirming the u-turn, Ipsa interim chair Richard Lloyd wrote to MPs: “The unprecedented impact of the Covid pandemic has had an unexpected, but different, effect on public and private sector earnings.

“It is clear that applying the forthcoming official statistic for public-sector earnings growth would result in a salary increase for MPs that would be inconsistent with the wider economic data and would not reflect the reality that many constituents are facing this year.

“The Ipsa board has therefore decided that the salary for Members of Parliament will remain unchanged for the financial year 2021/22.”

The watchdog had been planning to raise MPs’ salaries in 2021 in line with this autumn’s public sector wages.

If previous trends had continued, that could have triggered a 4.1% rise of to £85,291 – in the depths of the pandemic.

Yet millions of public sector workers including teachers and police now face a freeze in April – after the cut-off date for MPs’ pay.

That would have meant they were suffering a real-terms pay cut at the same time as MPs enjoyed an above-inflation hike

IPSA had stressed no final decision had been taken.

The body’s four board members reflected on the PM’s comments and wider context before they made one.

Local MP reaction

We know that Ben Bradshaw MP intended to donate his rise to charity. Did we ever hear from  Neil Parish MP and “jumping Jupp Flash”?

If they were happy to trouser the cash, they will be disappointed.

City MP ‘would donate pay rise to charity’

It comes after the independent body, set up after the expenses scandal, recommended that MPs pay should increase by 11 per cent to 74 thousand pounds.

The news has provoked fury from unions in the public sector – who’ve seen their own pay frozen along with job cuts and other austerity measures.

Ben Bradshaw told Radio Exe it would be a disaster to return to the ‘bad old days’ of MPs setting their own pay and conditions.. which was what allowed the expenses scandal to happen.

If the rise is imposed he’ll simply use it to help fund good causes, and he says he’ll also seek to ensure that his expenses remain the lowest of any MP in Devon.