Should Cornish MPs get a huge pay rise: Have your Say!

Cornish MPs are set to get a £7,600 pay rise after a watchdog refused to bow to pressure from political leaders to scale back the increase at a time voters are feeling the squeeze.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) will unveil its final proposals next week - including boosting MPs' salaries to £74,000 from 2015 - 11% higher than they get at present.

It is expected to try to temper criticism by announcing a tougher-than-expected squeeze on MPs' pensions in a bid to cancel out the £4.6 million cost to the public purse.

A £2.5 million saving by downgrading the final salary scheme to career average - matching the rest of the public sector - had already been proposed alongside a crackdown on various perks.

All three main party leaders have condemned the increase at a time of national austerity, with both Labour's Ed Miliband and Liberal Democrat Nick Clegg pledged to shun the extra money.

David Cameron has stopped short of matching that pledge - and is under pressure from some Tory MPs to back the increase - but has said Westminster pay should not rise while others face restraint.

However, following a consultation on the proposals - first set out in July - Ipsa is set to press ahead. MPs have no way to prevent the rise coming into force after the next general election - unless they change the law set up in the wake of the expenses scandal to stop them setting their own pay.

Research by Ipsa found that two-thirds of MPs believe they are underpaid and the watchdog's chairman Sir Ian Kennedy has insisted politicians' pay must "catch up" after years of being suppressed.

But many politicians are also furious at Ipsa's expenses regime and suggested they could back a move to strip it of the responsibility to set pay in order to destroy its authority.

A Conservative source said Mr Cameron had been "clear that we are committed to reducing the cost of politics" and that the Prime Minister had consistently called for "restraint" in MPs' pay.

A Labour source said: "We will obviously wait to see what the final proposals are, however, as we have always said, any rise in MPs' pay must be considered in the light of the current economic climate and the cost-of-living crisis facing people across the country.

"It must also be seen in the context of the decision to limit or freeze many workers' pay increases in both the public and private sectors."

Commons deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle, a Labour MP, cautioned against interfering with the system.

"I agree that MPs should not vote on their own pay," he told the Mail on Sunday. "It should be left to an independent body. It's not in the gift of the party leaders."

In July, Mr Miliband predicted that Ipsa would drop the significant rise, but added: "I f this was to go ahead I wouldn't be accepting this pay rise."

Mr Clegg said then that it was the "worst time" to advocate a double-digit pay rise.

Ipsa's original report conceded there is no "compelling evidence" that MPs' current salary level is deterring candidates, making people leave Parliament, affecting the diversity of the House or lowering the standard of ministers.

But Sir Ian argued it was "wrong in itself" to keep MP pay low, arguing that the expenses scandal had been the result of too much restraint.

Ipsa said it had looked at increasing the current salary of £66,396 to anywhere between £73,365 and £83,430, but opted for the lower end "in recognition of the current difficult economic circumstances".

After 2015 wages would increase annually in line with average UK earnings.

Among measures already on the table to offset the cost of the rise - which is 9% higher than the rate MPs will be on by 2015 - was an end to " resettlement grants" of up to £65,000 for departing MPs.

Under the plans that would be reduced to two weeks' pay for every year of service if they are under 41, and three weeks if they are older by 2020.

A £15 dinner allowance would be scrapped, claims for tea and biscuits would not be allowed, and taxpayer-funded taxis home only allowed after 11pm.

There would also be a crackdown on claims for running second homes, with costs such as TV licences and contents insurance no longer being met.

Mathew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance campaign group, said: "Taxpayers will be furious that the pay rise comes at a time when MPs urge public pay restraint and the Chancellor tells us he can't afford to ease the burden of taxes on hard-pressed households and businesses.

"Ipsa's own polling and research shows that the current level of pay to be broadly fair and that the public simply do not back the increase.

"This announcement amounts to an unaccountable quango putting up two fingers to taxpayers. The rise must be rejected."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "MPs' pay is a matter for Ipsa. The Government has submitted its views to Ipsa as part of the body's consultation on MPs' pay.

"It made it clear that, while Ipsa is an independent body set up by Parliament, in future decisions on remuneration it expects Ipsa to take into account the Government's wider approach to public service pay and pensions.

"We believe that the cost of politics should be going down, not up."

Comments (8)

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1:19pm Mon 9 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay.

A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money.

I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially.
Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay. A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money. I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially. Gillian Zella Martin 09

3:24pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Bobbster says...

So the majority of the people in the country if it get a pay rise if they are lucky and then it is only about 1%, I don't even think the current batch of MP's deserve that, in fact an 11% cut would be more appropriate.

If the pay/perks were that bad they would of all left long ago.

This current batch of MP's need to get in the real world along with the rest of the country, lead by example not by greed
So the majority of the people in the country if it get a pay rise if they are lucky and then it is only about 1%, I don't even think the current batch of MP's deserve that, in fact an 11% cut would be more appropriate. If the pay/perks were that bad they would of all left long ago. This current batch of MP's need to get in the real world along with the rest of the country, lead by example not by greed Bobbster

11:52am Thu 12 Dec 13

StarDasher says...

Gillian Zella Martin 09 wrote:
Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay.

A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money.

I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially.
The fuss has arisen because this proposal does indeed come from an independent body: the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, so the Government cannot do much more than stand aside and ring its collective hands.
It's always a problem when an independent body makes proposals we may not like.
There's no easy solution.
[quote][p][bold]Gillian Zella Martin 09[/bold] wrote: Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay. A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money. I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially.[/p][/quote]The fuss has arisen because this proposal does indeed come from an independent body: the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, so the Government cannot do much more than stand aside and ring its collective hands. It's always a problem when an independent body makes proposals we may not like. There's no easy solution. StarDasher

12:38pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Gillian Zella Martin 09 says...

StarDasher wrote:
Gillian Zella Martin 09 wrote:
Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay.

A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money.

I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially.
The fuss has arisen because this proposal does indeed come from an independent body: the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, so the Government cannot do much more than stand aside and ring its collective hands.
It's always a problem when an independent body makes proposals we may not like.
There's no easy solution.
Yes you are right, I am sorry, I screwed up with some of that of which I have written in my first post.
The moral of this story is, read/post in haste repent at leisure.

I do however believe that generally speaking, the pay of an individual MP is in addition to another source of income, therefore a large rise is not imperative, particularly as they additionally claim expenses.
[quote][p][bold]StarDasher[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Gillian Zella Martin 09[/bold] wrote: Legislation should be brought in to prevent MPs setting their own rate of pay. A percentage of MPs do not even bother to attend the House of Commons for many meetings, I think there should be more openness and transparency with local MPs as to what meetings they are expected to attend and their actual attendance rate, they could then be held more accountable and at election time the electorate can assess whether they believe candidates give value for money. I believe to state that the expenses scandal was the result of too much restraint is pure fiction, if that was the case why did MP Andrew George repay some money and if he could afford to repay it then I believe he could have afforded not have claimed it initially.[/p][/quote]The fuss has arisen because this proposal does indeed come from an independent body: the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, so the Government cannot do much more than stand aside and ring its collective hands. It's always a problem when an independent body makes proposals we may not like. There's no easy solution.[/p][/quote]Yes you are right, I am sorry, I screwed up with some of that of which I have written in my first post. The moral of this story is, read/post in haste repent at leisure. I do however believe that generally speaking, the pay of an individual MP is in addition to another source of income, therefore a large rise is not imperative, particularly as they additionally claim expenses. Gillian Zella Martin 09

11:39am Fri 13 Dec 13

GrahamHarris says...

There is a simple solution to this! I don't think there is any way that the pay rise can be stopped BUT the MP's that say that they disagree with it can easily offer to give the amount of the rise to local charities within their area.

This would be ''the right thing'' to do and would also improve how people view their MP's !!!
There is a simple solution to this! I don't think there is any way that the pay rise can be stopped BUT the MP's that say that they disagree with it can easily offer to give the amount of the rise to local charities within their area. This would be ''the right thing'' to do and would also improve how people view their MP's !!! GrahamHarris

7:57pm Fri 13 Dec 13

StarDasher says...

GrahamHarris wrote:
There is a simple solution to this! I don't think there is any way that the pay rise can be stopped BUT the MP's that say that they disagree with it can easily offer to give the amount of the rise to local charities within their area.

This would be ''the right thing'' to do and would also improve how people view their MP's !!!
Say we have the Prime Minister (worth £Millions); another MP with an outside job; a third MP with no outside job. They all hand their rise to a local charity.

All equitable?
[quote][p][bold]GrahamHarris[/bold] wrote: There is a simple solution to this! I don't think there is any way that the pay rise can be stopped BUT the MP's that say that they disagree with it can easily offer to give the amount of the rise to local charities within their area. This would be ''the right thing'' to do and would also improve how people view their MP's !!![/p][/quote]Say we have the Prime Minister (worth £Millions); another MP with an outside job; a third MP with no outside job. They all hand their rise to a local charity. All equitable? StarDasher

7:16pm Sat 14 Dec 13

ucsweb says...

First. Should MP's get a huge payrise? Yes, when they can prove they earn it. It should also be needs-based. So if they are worth millions (£500,000,000 is the estimated personal wealth of the PM) then they should get less.
Second. MP's should give the increase to charity. No, why should I pay tax to the government only for them to donate it to charity? I already donate to several charities.
First. Should MP's get a huge payrise? Yes, when they can prove they earn it. It should also be needs-based. So if they are worth millions (£500,000,000 is the estimated personal wealth of the PM) then they should get less. Second. MP's should give the increase to charity. No, why should I pay tax to the government only for them to donate it to charity? I already donate to several charities. ucsweb

11:06am Mon 16 Dec 13

StarDasher says...

We are told that that whole thing is 'cost-neutral', as although pay is up pension and other allowances are down. Additionally, the package doesn't arrive till after the next election. Maybe not even then, if the IPSA changes its mind after all the fuss that's been made.
We are told that that whole thing is 'cost-neutral', as although pay is up pension and other allowances are down. Additionally, the package doesn't arrive till after the next election. Maybe not even then, if the IPSA changes its mind after all the fuss that's been made. StarDasher

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