Sun. Oct 2nd, 2022


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‘It just isn’t right’ MP pay rise should go to key workers, Sir Keir Starmer says

2 min read

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An independent watchdog sets MPs’ salaries and wants to continue linking their pay packets to wage growth in the public sector. It would mean a rise of more than £3,300, taking the annual total to more than £85,000. Sir Keir said he believes MPs “shouldn’t have it” this year.

The Labour leader said that the decisions had been “parcelled out to an independent body so that MPs don’t decide for themselves what they get paid, but that’s mitigation, it’s not an excuse”.

“I think this year of all years, people would say that money, if it’s available, should be spent on key workers, those who’ve been on the front line through this pandemic.”

He said there should be a cross-party discussion about what to do “because I suspect there’s lots of MPs that feel it just isn’t right”.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) is consulting on the pay setting scheme, which would use October’s three-month average public sector wage growth as the benchmark.

Although the exact figure is not yet known, September’s data would give MPs a 4.1 percent increase.

Ipsa admits that whatever the figure ends up being “it is likely to exceed the rate of inflation”.

Richard Lloyd, Ipsa’s interim chairman, said that the body has a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each parliament.

Major reviews were carried out in 2012, 2013 and 2015, with technical adjustments in 2018.

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“Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we do not think it is right to depart from this approach now,” he said.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the pay rise awarded to MPs is a matter for Ipsa to decide.

“We don’t want to go back to the position where MPs are determining their own salaries.

“That was a whole area of difficulty before.”

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