Westminster wage row: MP’s ‘ludicrous’ 9% pay rise plans slammed as Manchester politicians turn on watchdog

Plans to award MPs a 9% pay rise have been criticised across Greater Manchester with politicians branding them ‘ludicrous’.

After The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) confirmed the wage hike this week, salaries are set to rise from £67,000 to £74,000 next year – more than three times the inflation rate of 2.5%.

Withington MP John Leech has spoken out against the proposed pay rise and is calling on the Government to intervene. 

He told MM: “I have always said that it is ludicrous that IPSA were proposing a 9% pay rise because this fails to take into consideration Government policy on pay restraint in the public sector.

“Public sector workers will rightly be outraged that they have been affected by public sector pay restraint and quite justifiably expect IPSA to ensure that MPs are treated the same.

“On that basis, the Government after the General Election will have to intervene and stop the pay rise from going ahead.

“There is a certain sense of irony that the general public wanted MPs not to have a say on their pay, but once we no longer have a say, the public wanted us to intervene and stop it from happening.”

The plans were revealed after commons watchdog IPSA said that MPs did an important job and should not be paid ‘a miserly amount’ for their services.

IPSA was created by Parliament in the wake of the 2009 expenses scandal and the watchdog now has the power to introduce independent regulation of MPs’ business costs and expenses.

But Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said that IPSA ‘ought to think long and hard’ about the message the pay rise will send out to the public.

She said: “The independent body, IPSA, which now makes these decisions, really ought to think long and hard about the message this sends out to people who are already disillusioned with our political system.

“As I have said previously, MP’s pay should reflect wider economic circumstances and it cannot be right for one part of the public sector to receive a pay rise while millions of nurses, teachers and other civil servants have their pay frozen.”

The possibility of a pay rise was first raised last December but Prime Minister David Cameron, along with opposition leader Ed Milliband and Deputy Nick Clegg, labeled the plans ‘unacceptable’.

Although the IPSA have made it clear they are keen to go ahead with plans next year, the move could potentially be blocked after the General Election.

Image courtesy of Interpreting National Network via YouTube with thanks

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