Mansfield and Ashfield MPs call pay rise plans ‘bonkers’

Ashfield and Mansfield MPs have spoken out against ‘bonkers’ proposals to give elected members of Parliament an 11 per cent pay boost.

By Isabel Dunmore
Wednesday, 11th December 2013, 6:00 am

Ashfield MP, Gloria De Piero, said the decision by The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) announced earlier this week was out of touch with what is happening in the real world.

She said: “I nearly choked on my cornflakes when I read in the paper and heard reports on the breakfast news that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority recommends MPs should get an 11 per cent raise.

“First of all I’d like to make absolutely clear that I think these proposals as reported are bonkers.

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“This latest set of proposals is so out of kilter with what’s going on in the real world it’s untrue, especially given the fact ordinary people in Ashfield and the rest of the country are going through the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation.”

The report produced by IPSA recommends a rise in MPs’ salaries of £7,600 to £74,000 by 2015.

The three main party leaders have mostly criticised the salary rise.

Gloria added: “I’m glad that Ed Miliband came out straight away and said this rise shouldn’t go ahead and I hope other leaders follow his lead.

“We cannot have an outcome for MPs which does not command public confidence.”

MPs are currently paid £66,396 a year but the watchdog said in its report that a £7,600 raise is needed to bring MPs in line with other professionals.

Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood, said he believed it is important IPSA remains independent.

“IPSA is independent and should remain so, I would encourage constituents to write to them directly and express their views.” He said.

The watchdog is expected to press ahead with the rise with an expected to cost to the public purse of £4.6m.

Sir Alan Meale, MP for Mansfield, said he will be shunning the salary increase if proposals go ahead.

He said: “I think the idea is totally wrong and inappropriate, I have always maintained that.

“I seriously think that this is something that needs to be addressed.

“If the salary raise does occur, I will give my extra money away.”

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority was set up following the MP expenses scandal to ensure that their wages are set by an independent body. After the rise in 2015, MPs’ wages will increase annually in line with average UK earnings.