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Would your MP accept a £6k pay hike?

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IN MOST walks of life the offer of a pay rise is a cause for cheer, but for MPs its a minefield.

Croydon's representatives are no different and this week indicated they would not be going out on the tiles if the recommendations of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) were approved.

Last week, the IPSA recommended an above-inflation increase of more than £6,000 to an MP's salary, taking the basic wage to £74,000.

Both Gavin Barwell, MP for Croydon Central, and Steve Reed, MP for Croydon North, said they were fundamentally against an increase in pay.

However, they also both believed the proposals to raise the basic salary would be capped by reforms to expenses.

If approved, the recommendations would take effect in May 2015, when it could be possible neither MP is in the job.

Mr Reed said: "I think it would be very inappropriate at a time when other people's wage packets are going down, especially in its current form.

"But you have got to look at the package and there are other things they'll take away from MPs' expenses as well.

"Although I also don't think it will happen. The parties will all come out against it."

The 11 per cent hike comes at a time when public sector wages are being frozen at one per cent, although Mr Barwell also pointed to the expenses reforms.

He said: "You cannot justify paying us more when you are asking everyone else to take a one per cent pay rise.

"But if we get rid of a lot of expenses and increased the basic wage, it would become clearer to people what we are being paid.

"At the moment there are a lot of expenses everyone gets and that is not made clear to the voter.

"If I showed the Advertiser my expenses list, it would include the cost of my staff.

"I have always said, even before I was elected, that the people who work for MPs should be employed by parliament."

The IPSA estimates that although the pay rises would cost the electorate around £4.5 million, reductions in expenses and pension pay-offs would reduce that to just £500,000.

Richard Ottaway, MP for Croydon South, who is stepping down at the 2015 election, declined to comment because the recommendations will not affect him.

Would your MP accept a £6k pay hike?


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