Minister criticises plans for 11 percent pay rise for MPs

GREG Barker has slammed plans to give MPs an 11 per cent pay rise as “very irresponsible”.

The Conservative MP, who represents Bexhill and Battle, reacted angrily to the proposed pay hike which would see his wage leap from £65,738 to £74,000 in 2015, should he still be in office.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) caused widespread outrage earlier this week when it announced the recommended rise – with the leaders of all three main political parties voicing their concern over the plans.

If approved, the proposed changes would also lead to a new pension for MPs which IPSA says could save the tax payer millions of pounds. Evening meal allowances would also be scrapped and payments given to former MPs would be reworked in a bid to save further cash.

Nevertheless, the idea of MPs being given a substantial pay increase while the country’s economy continues to struggle has caused substantial discontent.

Mr Barker was among those to criticise IPSA.

He said: “In the current financial climate this is a very irresponsible recommendation from IPSA. This is not the last word and there will be a further statutory review by IPSA after the election.

“All parties agreed in 2009 to set up IPSA so that MPs would no longer have a say in setting their pay and pensions. So this is not a decision for the Government or for MPs, it is solely for IPSA.

“The Government made it clear in the consultation that IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and pensions restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay. I am very disappointed that IPSA has not done so.

“We will continue to make the case that IPSA should take into account overall public sector pay and pensions restraint and that the cost of politics should go down and not up.”

Rye MP Amber Rudd says she also opposes the pay rise.