All three of the major UK political party leaders say that a pay rise is the last thing that should be happening at the moment, however, Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority disagree.
The watchdog has recommended an 11% pay raise for the Members of Parliament increasing their annual income to 74,000 GBP. This amounts to an overall increase of 7,600 GBP and these changes are expected to be put into practice after the next election in 2015.
Although MPs are against this pay increase, IPSA does not need the go ahead from parliament to make the change. The watchdog’s justifications stems from the fact that over recent years MPs salary packages have fallen behind and therefore an increase is justified.
As it stands, members of parliament earn over 66,000 GBP per year with selected benefits.
IPSA stated that although their basic salary will be increased, a few benefits will be slashed in its place.
The increase in pay for all the MPs will amount to over 4.5 million GBP per year that will be paid by taxpayers of the UK.
Party leaders from the three largest political parties have openly reprimanded the suggestion, particularly as the economy has seen better days and the majority of the public are dealing with below average salaries.
Treasury Minister, Danny Alexander, has described the proposed pay raise as “utterly incomprehensible”, he added that it would be “wholly inappropriate for MPs to get such a large pay rise when every other public sector worker sees their pay rises capped at 1%.”
Defence Secretary, Philip Hammond, also commented on the matter saying, “Whatever the rights and wrongs of whether MPs’ pay is too high, too low, comparable to other people, at a time when we are asking people across the public sector – nurses, doctors, teachers – to accept pay restraint, members of Parliament have to be seen to be leading the way.”
Along with a number of other MPs, he has stated that he will not be accepting the increase.
The watchdog, which was created in 2009 due to the embarrassing scandal concerning public expenditure, has been bombarded with pleads and, also, outrage from politicians and the general public and it is unclear at this point whether they will respond to the criticism or not.