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East Lancashire MPs give view on possible pay rise
7:00pm Sunday 13th January 2013 in News
EAST Lancashire MPs have given the cold shoulder to a survey of their colleagues calling for a one third rise in their pay.
Most are happy with their current £65,738 annual salary while the remainder want to leave the final decision to the Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority (IPSA).
It polled MPs anonymously as part of a consultation on House of Commons wage rates and 69 per cent of the just over 100 of those who replied said they were underpaid. Most wanted to see their renumeration rise by 32 per cent to £86,250.
Earlier this week MPs voted for a one per cent cap on increasing benefits.
Blackburn’s Jack Straw, who has extensive additional earnings on top of his House of Commons salary, said: "At this stage of my life I have no personal interest in a pay rise - for the past 15 years my earnings have been at least twice that of an MPs' salary.
“But I am concerned that MPs generally are paid properly, and their pay keeps pace with comparators - which IPSA's own evidence shows that it has not.
“Otherwise fewer people without means will go into politics and stay the course - and the public will be the loser if that happens.”
Burnley Liberal Democrat Gordon Birtwistle said: “I am not in favour of a pay increase. I am happy with what I have got.”
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson said: “I think MPs get suitably paid at the moment - more than three times the average wage in the East Lancashire area.”
His Rossendale and Darwen Tory colleague Jake Berry said: “I think MPs are paid adequately. I don’t think it’s the job of MPs to set their own pay and conditions.”
Hyndburn Labour MP Graham Jones refused to answer what level of pay MPs should get as he had answered the anonymous survey, but added: “I am concerned about closing the gap between rich and poor. MPs are at the bottom end of the wealthy.”
Ribble Valley Tory Nigel Evans said: “It is not for MPs to decide how much they get paid. That is a matter for IPSA,”
Lindsay Hoyle, Labour MP for Chorley, said: “I’ve always said that MPs should not set their own salary and I’m glad that IPSA is doing this job properly. We have one chance to get this right and to rebuild trust. However, IPSA must listen to the views of MPs and the public.”
Todmorden Tory Craig Whittaker said: “It is not for MPs to comment on what they get paid. That will be set by IPSA and I will take whatever they decide on the chin.”