MP tells of shock at Commons pay rises

Paul Maynard MP and (below) Mark Menzies MP.
Paul Maynard MP and (below) Mark Menzies MP.
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A resort MP says he is “astounded” at plans to give pay rises to both himself and his peers.

Paul Maynard, who represents Blackpool North and Cleveleys in Parliament, has called on the public to make their feelings known about the proposal, which has been suggested in a report by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

Mark Menzies MP

Mark Menzies MP

Sources say Ipsa is considering setting a pay rise of around £7,500, taking an MP’s salary to £75,000.

Speaking to The Gazette, Mr Maynard said: “Like most people I’m astounded at the thought MPs could get a pay rise, particularly at a time when most civil servants are having their pay capped at one per cent.

“Sadly MPs can’t veto their pay rises any more, but there is still a public consultation and I urge everyone who shares my view to make their voices known.”

However Fylde MP Mark Menzies suggested it wasn’t the place of Parliamentarians to interfere with the workings of the independent body, which was set up in the wake of the 2009 MPs’ expenses scandal.

He said: “The problem we have got is MPs used to have responsibility for their own pay and people quite rightly felt that wasn’t right.

“MPs don’t have a say on it, we don’t even know what (Ipsa) is coming up with.

“I’ve always said whatever the independent body comes up with, I’ll go along with.

“It needs to operate free from the interference of MPs.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has already urged Ipsa to “show restraint”, warning it would be “unthinkable” to make Westminster more expensive to the taxpayer, while Labour leader Ed Miliband has also signalled his opposition to such a large increase.

Mr Cameron said: “I famously had a plan for reducing the House of Commons which was nearly there.

“Actually the House of Commons voted for it. I’m the first Prime Minister who achieved this feat of getting the House of Commons to reduce their number.

“For one reason or another that fell apart.”

Speaking at the first of his planned Whitehall news conferences, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made clear that a rise on such a scale would be unacceptable to voters.

“My own view is that the public would find it impossible to understand – particularly as (there are) millions of people in the public sector whose pay is only increasing by one per cent – that their parliamentary representatives at a time like this would be receiving pay increases far in excess of that,” he said.

“Speaking for myself I would certainly seek to do whatever I can to make sure that either this decision is not taken in the first place – but that’s out of my hands.

“But, secondly, if it were to be taken, not to take that pay increase.”