Taxpayer anger as MPs lobby for 32pc pay rise

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MPs have told the watchdog reviewing their pay that they deserve a 32 per cent hike to £86,250, it was revealed yesterday.

A survey carried out by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) also found more than a third believe they should keep generous final salary pensions.

The findings emerged as Ipsa published a report on its initial consultation into pay and pensions, which ended last month.

The research, which politicians completed anonymously, found that 69 per cent thought they were underpaid on £65,738.

The average level suggested for the salary was £86,250.

Ipsa also confirmed that it is not proposing to introduce performance-related pay, regional pay or to take outside earnings into account.

Chairman Sir Ian Kennedy said: “In the past, MPs have agreed their pay and pensions among themselves. So this new approach of independent decision-making marks a real and important change and is another crucial step in helping Parliament to regain the trust of the public.

“We remain committed to listening and I would urge people to get involved in this debate.”

The watchdog will put firm proposals out for consultation in the spring, with final decisions likely to be taken in the autumn.

YouGov conducted online interviews with 100 MPs on Ipsa’s behalf, and weighted the results slightly to represent the Commons by party, gender, year elected, and geography.

Conservatives were the most likely to believe they were underpaid, with 47 per cent saying that was the case. Some 39 per cent of Labour members and nine per cent of Lib Dems held the same view.

On average, Tories said their salary should be £96,740, while Lib Dems thought the right amount was £78,361 and Labour £77,322. Other parties put the figure at £75,091.

One MP said they should be paid £40,000 or less. Some five per cent said £60-65,000 was fair, and 17 per cent went for £65-£70,000.

A fifth of those questioned said they should be paid £95,000 or more.

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance said: “Hiking politician’s wages at a time of pay freezes, benefit caps and necessary spending cuts would be completely unpalatable to taxpayers.

“To do so would suggest that there is one rule for MPs and another for the rest of the country. There is zero appetite for a pay rise for MPs as borne out by the polling of the public commissioned by Ipsa.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “At a time when millions of workers are getting zero pay rises, the idea that MPs believe they deserve a 32 per cent increase is living in cloud cuckoo land.”

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