Cooper calls for a block on MP pay rise

Yvette Cooper
Yvette Cooper
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LABOUR leadership hopeful Yvette Cooper has called on the Prime Minister to intervene to prevent MPs receiving a 10 per cent pay rise.

The £7,000 increase was confirmed by the Independ Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) as the Government announced police officers are to receive a one per cent rise.

Ipsa stuck with the proposed rise despite wide-ranging criticism that MPs should receive should a large sum at a time of pay restraint in the public sector.

But the body backed down over plans to link MPs’ pay to average earnings, instead proposing future rises will match average increases public sector pay.

Preventing MPs receiving the increase would require a change in the law and Ms Cooper, the Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford MP, said the Prime Minister should take action.

She said: ”This is crazy. How on earth has David Cameron allowed this to happen? He needs to step in urgently and stop this MPs’ pay rise going ahead,.

“The idea of increasing MPs’ pay by 10 per cent at a time when nurses, care workers, police officers and our armed forces face another five years pay freeze is completely unfair.”

Mr Cameron had previously described the proposed rise as “unnacceptable”

Following Ipsa’s announcement, Mr Cameron’s official spokeswoman said: “The PM has consistently opposed this pay increase and the Government formally submitted these views to the consultation process.

“He disagrees with their decision today, but it is Ipsa, as an independent body that makes that decision. They have made it and they have made clear it will now go ahead automatically.”

With MPs unable to refuse or return the money, attention has turned to whether individuals will donate it to charity.

Downing Street said how the Prime Minister spends his salary was a “private matter”.

But some MPs argued the rise was necessary to reflect the responsibilities and costs of their work.

Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said: “Over the last Parliament, MPs’ pay increased by two per cent, compared to five per cent in the public sector and 10 per cent in the whole economy. It is right that we make this one-off increase and then formally link MPs’ pay to public sector pay.”

He added: “Pay has been an issue which has been ducked for decades, with independent reports and recommendations from experts ignored, and MPs’ salaries supplemented by an opaque and discredited system of allowances

“We have made the necessary break with the past. We have created a new and transparent scheme of business costs and expenses, introduced a less generous pension scheme, where taxpayers contribute less and MPs make a higher contribution, and scrapped large resettlement payments.”