Motherwell and Wishaw MP Frank Roy has confirmed he didn’t participate in a recent survey of his colleagues which found the majority favour a whopping £20,000 salary hike.
The anonymous survey – by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – was conducted as preparation for the body’s first public consultation on MPs’ pay and pensions.
It revealed that 69 per cent of those questioned want much more money and that, on average, they believe they should receive £86,250 a year.
This represents a 32 per cent increase on their current salary of £65,738 and more than three times the average UK earnings.
The survey found more than a third believe they should keep generous final salary pensions.
Speaking to the Wishaw Press Mr Roy said: “I make a point of never becoming involved in these type of surveys.
“In fact, I wasn’t aware this one had been conducted until very recently. I’ve always been of the opinion that remuneration should be fixed by an independent body and that MPs shouldn’t have any say in it.”
Airdrie and Shotts representative Pamela Nash echoed her Labour colleague’s sentiment. She said: “I think it is absolutely right that they will now be set by an independent body.
“It is not appropriate for MPs to be voting on their own salaries, as was the case previously. I will leave this matter in the hands of IPSA.”
The IPSA report confirmed that this year MPs’ pay will increase by one per cent and by the same amount in 2014, easing the public sector pay freeze that’s been in place since 2010. Controversially, the report found 27 per cent of 100 MPs believe their pay should rise by more over the next two years, despite benefits and public sector pay being capped at that level. Some 53 per cent also wanted to bring back so-called ‘golden goodbyes’ worth tens of thousands of pounds which were previously handed to MPs who stood down voluntarily.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Hiking politicians’ wages at a time of pay freezes, benefit caps and necessary spending cuts would be completely unpalatable to taxpayers. To do so, would suggest 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. Most people clearly think that an MP’s salary is currently about right.”
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis added: “At a time when millions of workers are getting zero pay rises, the idea MPs believe they deserve a 32 per cent increase is cloud cuckoo land.”