Pickles comment: "MP payrise suggestion is unacceptable"

Brentwood Weekly News: Pickles comment: "MP payrise susggestion is unacceptable" Pickles comment: "MP payrise susggestion is unacceptable"

The suggestion by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority that the pay of Members of Parliament should be increased by eleven per cent has not been received well by many of my constituents.

To be clear, I believe the idea of an 11 per cent pay rise in one year at a time of public sector pay restraint is simply unacceptable.

IPSA needs to think again; unless it does, I would not rule anything out in terms of how Members of Parliament should respond.

I do think it is right that MPs are no longer able to set the terms of their own remuneration.

All parties agreed in 2009 to set up IPSA so that MPs would no longer have a say in setting their pay and pensions, so this is not a decision for the Government or for MPs, it is solely for IPSA.

The Government made it clear in the consultation that IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and pensions restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay. It is disappointed that IPSA has not done so.

To date, MPs have not been insulated from the economic challenges facing the country.

In March 2011, MPs voted to freeze our salaries in line with public sector workers and this freeze was extended to 2012/13.

Since then, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has stated MPs’ pay will increase by one per cent from April 2013 and April 2014, in line with the limit on public sector pay rises.

As a Minister I will not be taking either of these increases. My ministerial salary was reduced by 5% in May 2010 and frozen for five years.

However, I should stress that the latest recommendations for the level of pay after 2014 are not final and there will be a further statutory review by IPSA after the election on whether circumstances warrant the confirmation of the pay increase that they have decided on.

I am pleased the Government has said it will continue to make the case that IPSA should take into account overall public sector pay and pensions restraint, and that the cost of politics should go down and not up.

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