Local MPs reject big pay hikes

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BOROUGH MPs have spoken out strongly against proposals for a massive pay hike for themselves.

A majority of Parliamentarians are said to have suggested an eye-watering 32 per cent salary increase to the Commons expenses watchdog, it was revealed this week.

Members said they deserved an £86,250 salary in an anonymous survey conducted by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

The research also found more than a third thought they should keep final-salary pensions.

Findings emerged as Ipsa published a report on its initial consultation into pay and pensions.

The Commons voted against a one per cent PA rise in 2011 and last year agreed to extend the pay freeze into this year.

But the survey found that 69 per cent thought they were underpaid on their current salary of £65,738.

However Wigan’s three Parliamentarians spoke out strongly against the level of pay rise proposed.

Makerfield’s Yvonne Fovargue said that in the past, MPs were able to set their own pay and pension arrangements, but this was “clearly wrong”.

She said: “While I did not take part in the consultation, it is right that MPs should be given the opportunity to put forward their views on these matters, in line with established practice in the public sector.

“However, it is absolutely the case that IPSA will determine the appropriate pay and conditions independently of MPs.

“I will abide by whatever arrangements that they determine to be appropriate.”

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said that she strongly disagreed with the MPs who thought politicians’ pay should rise.

She said: “At a time when public sector workers have had their pay frozen and others have lost jobs or faced pay cuts it would be immoral for MPs to award themselves more money.

“I have always believed that MPs should not be able to decide their own pay and I support an independent system, that sets a rate of pay that is not excessive but allows people from all backgrounds to enter politics.”

While Leigh’s Andy Burnham said that he didn’t participate in the survey ... and pointed out that he “didn’t come into politics to make money.”

The Shadow Health Minister said: “The report issued by IPSA in no way reflects my views on this matter which are clear.

“I do not believe that an increase in MPs pay is justifiable.”

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of campaign group the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Hiking politicians’ wages at a time of pay freezes, benefit caps and necessary spending cuts would be completely unpalatable to tax-payers.”

He said most people thought MPs’ current salaries are “about right”.