The difficulty with the timing and size of such a pay rise is obvious to everyone but the MP’s themselves and to a degree the awarding body.
The longer term outcome of these changes are that it will represent a NETT saving to the country, but as ever, the authority battle against negative press and internet hype is all but lost. I wonder if a delay of 1 year during which a full scale information offensive was launched for the public, showing in detail the likely savings, might have been the way to handle this, especially at this specific time in the AUSTERITY journey of the United Kingdom, and particularly having just completed an emergency budget for the country where the very same MP’s told their own employees they will have to accept a 1% pay freeze for the next 3 years ?
Prime Minister David Cameron faces a backlash after a 10% pay rise for MPs was confirmed despite the rest of the public sector being capped at 1% for another four years, according to STV News.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said the issue of politicians’ salaries could no longer be “ducked” and it is pushing ahead with the increase from £67,060 to £74,000.
However, the watchdog has climbed down on plans to link their pay to UK-wide average earnings in future, a move that could have left MPs £23,000 better off by 2020.
Instead they will be restricted to average rises in the public sector.
The Guardian comments that MP’s pay has lagged behind for many years. However the starting point for MP’s is significantly higher than the national average and so this argument is flawed.
This chart, in today’s Ipsa report, shows how MPs’ pay rises have failed to keep pace with average pay rises across the economy as a whole, and in the public sector.
(But, arguably, the chart is misleading because it masks the fact that MPs’ pay is much higher than average pay across the economy as a whole, or in the public sector.)
A listing of the current starting salary and expenses details can be found at the Parliament website. The key element for starting pay is:
The basic annual salary for an MP from 1 April 2014 is £67,060. The new rate will be around £73,000.00. MPs also receive expenses to cover the costs of running an office, employing staff, having somewhere to live in London and in their constituency, and travelling between Parliament and their constituency.
Since the May 2010 General Election the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has been responsible for the regulation and payment of expenses to Members of the House of Commons.
- Business costs and expenses claimed for by each MP (IPSA website)
The scene going along with all the press coverage shows a FULL HOUSE of Commons, how honest this image is cannot be ascertained these days but it gives the negative spin that is desired by the press and for the internet.