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Wyre Forest MP responds to possible 11pc pay rise
WYRE Forest’s MP has criticised the timing of a proposed pay rise as “awful” but says it is right politicians’ salaries are decided independently.
Mark Garnier told The Shuttle he would not make any promises about what he would do with any extra pay and was concerned politicians doing so could result in the cheapest candidate being elected and not necessarily the most suitable.
A report is due out today from the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) suggesting an 11 per cent rise should be introduced after the 2015 general election, taking MPs pay to £74,000 a year.
Pensions will be cut and some allowances scrapped as part of the package.
IPSA was set up to determine independently what MPs should be paid, in response to the 2009 expenses scandal. Mr Garnier said people had agreed that was the right system and “had the IPSA recommended lowering MPs pay, no-one would have complained”.
In response, some MPs have pledged to give their rises to charity. Mr Garnier said: “What will result from this is pressure on candidates to make promises about their pay at elections.
“The result will be election literature all about how much a candidate will give to local charities and less about what they will do if elected. Will this mean the richest candidate gets elected because he or she will promise more than the others?”
The Tory MP said he would continue to give about £3,500 a year to charitable auction lots and added: “I am in politics because I feel passionately about serving my community and making a difference for the better.
“We want the best people to come into politics and they should be able to make that decision based on a clean financial offering, not having to work out the moral decision on how much salary to take.
“Is this a good time for IPSA to be doing this? No, it’s bloody awful and I think they should be more sympathetic.”
MPs currently receive a yearly salary of £66,396. In an anonymous survey conducted earlier this year, MPs suggested that they should be paid an average of £86,250, with one fifth of those questioned saying they should get £95,000 or more.
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