We won’t take the £7,600 pay rise, say district MPs

Wharfedale Observer: MP Kris Hopkins MP Kris Hopkins

The district’s MPs are among those who have vowed not to accept a controversial 11 per cent pay rise, with one MP in our region saying he would give the salary increase of £7,600 to charity.

Ilkley MP Kris Hopkins is among those who have hit out at the proposed pay rise, which would take effect in 2015, and says he will not accept it.

The increase, proposed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), would take MPs’ annual salaries to £74,000.

All three party leaders have condemned the move and said it would be wrong for MPs to receive such a large pay rise.

Mr Hopkins said: “It was made clear to the IPSA – an independent body – that the current restrictions on public-sector pay should be borne in mind when deciding any future rises in MPs’ pay. It is infuriating that this request has been ignored.

“As I have said many times before, I am a public-sector worker and should not be treated any differently to anyone else. This proposed pay rise is not something I agree with.”

Fellow Tory MP Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale, said he understood how unacceptable to the public the increase was.

“This is something proposed by the IPSA. The law was changed in 2009 to explicitly stop MPs having any role in the setting of their own pay and expenses,” he added. “I would urge my constituents to either make their views known to the IPSA directly or if they e-mail or write to me I will ensure that all representations are passed on.”

Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough MP Stuart Andrew has vowed to give his extra money to charity if the pay rise goes through.

He said: “I just think it is completely the wrong time and it is very insensitive to even be talking about it at a time when we are expecting people across the public sector to have a pay freeze and have their pensions changing.

“It is going to do nothing to enhance the reputation of MPs among the wider public – even though this is not something the MPs have asked for. It is deeply frustrating. I am hoping that it won’t go through. If public-sector pay starts going up then that is what we should be matching for the first few years.”

He said if he received a pay rise above that level he would give the balance to charity.

Greg Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) said: “I campaigned to stop the system for MPs to vote on their own pay and conditions and was pleased when this came in, with levels then being set independently by IPSA.

“Due to that, MPs do not get to vote on any changes, which is right, but I do think in the current climate a change to MPs’ pay of this nature is not the right thing to do and gives the wrong message.”

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