An MP has hit out at an expenses watchdog which has again suggested a controversial 10 per cent pay rise for parliamentarians.
Hyndburn MP Graham Jones branded the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ipsa, a ‘disgrace’ and said that MPs had not been consulted properly over plans to increase their pay.
Mr Jones said that as a result of the Ipsa changes, which will see an MP’s salary increase from £67,000 to £74,000, he would be ‘worse off’.
He said: “I have said before Ipsa is a disgrace, they have been set up to serve themselves.
“What they have done is announce a 10 per cent pay rise when in fact they are just going to shuffle the deck. They have got pensions and expenses all mixed in the same pot meaning I will be worse off with the rise.
“But look, I did not get elected for the salary, I have got no interest in this issue.”
The rise, to come into effect in May next year, comes as part of a package of changes to the way MPs are paid and will see some allowances scrapped.
Ipsa was set up in 2009 in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal with the aim of setting pay and benefits independent of government.
Marcial Boo, Ipsa chief executive, caused anger this week when he reaffirmed his belief in the need for a rise.
He said: “All the evidence points towards MPs’ salaries having fallen behind.
“This is an important job, the job of an MP. They are there to represent us all, to form laws, to send young people to war.
“It is not an easy thing to do. We want to have good people doing the job and they need to be paid fairly. Now, that’s not paid in excess but it’s not being paid a miserly amount either.
“Parliament as a whole has created an independent body to set MPs’ pay. We have gone through the process in a really rigorous way.
“It is not an arbitrary figure that we have come up with.”
Conservative group leader Peter Britcliffe said that a pay rise was not appropriate when other public sector workers, and private sector workers, were feeling the pinch.
He said: “I think MPs get paid a fair amount, when you take into account their expenses, expenses that most people could only ever dream of.
“Council workers have only had a one per cent pay rise in recent times and most people are having to get by on the same amount.
“So I do not believe any rise is justified.”