Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting GAZETTE NEWS to 80360, or email
Sir Bob Russell has labelled the
6:00am Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
SIR Bob Russell has described plans to give MPs an 11 per cent pay rise as “bonkers”.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority is expected to recommend MPs’ salaries are increased by £7,600 to £74,000 after the 2015 General Election.
Colchester MP Sir Bob criticised the rise, but said he spends about £5,000 a year subsidising his work and would use the money to plug the gap.
He said: “I have not asked for a salary increase, but I would like to be able to operate without having to use part of my salary to subsidise what I do across my 80-hour, seven-day week.
“The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has told MPs they cannot opt out of taking the increase.
Sir Bob added: “If I am reelected it will go towards a continuation of me contributing towards paying some of my operating costs and costs associated with my role, along with donations to causes my wife and I support, which is what we already do without fanfare.”
The authority was given responsibility for Westminster pay and expenses in 2009 in the wake of the expenses scandal.
MPs were stripped of the power to set their own pay in a move intended to take away political controversy.
In an anonymous survey conducted by the authority earlier this year, one-fifth said they should get £95,000 or more and the average was £86,250. The plan is to make the wage £74,000.
It is believed to have drawn up a tougher-than-expected squeeze on pension schemes, forcing MPs to pay in more and the taxpayer less, on top of a crackdown on claims for dinner, taxis and tea and biscuits.
Sir Bob said: “I was not best pleased with the bonkers decision.
“If the determination of our salaries was still made by Parliament I am confident what Ipsa has decided would not have happened.
“The authority should be looking at the salaries of MPs’ staff.
“I would like my small team, and other public employees, to have a decent increase in their wages rather than what has been announced for MPs.”
What other MPs think of the pay rise
WITHAM MP Priti Patel said the cost of politics should go down, not up.
She said she is disappointed the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority had not taken public sector pay into account in its recommendation.
She said: “I am disappointed it has not reflected this view when it reviewed this issue.
“The cost of politics should go down and not up.”
She refused to comment on what she would do with the pay rise.
CLACTON MP Douglas Carswell said plans to increase MPs’ pay by 11 per cent are offensive, absurd and uncalled for.
He said: “Having given this quango responsibility, it seems to be doing just about everything it can to undermine whatever confidence was left in the system.
“MPs’ salaries have been frozen for five years and it absurdly wants to hike them up by thousands of pounds.
“I can only imagine what local nurses and people in the public sector feel about this.”
Tim Young, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Clacton, said Mr Carswell should donate the pay rise to charity.
Mr Carswell refused to comment on what he would do with the extra money.
BRAINTREE MP Brooks Newmark said anything more than a 1 per cent pay rise would be inappropriate.
He added: “Given we are asking public sector workers for pay restraint, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority should treat MPs like all public sector workers.”
He refused to comment on what he might do with the pay rise.
MALDON’S MP said the 11 per cent pay rise should be accepted.
John Whittingdale said the independent Parliamentary Standards Authority should be allowed to push the raise through. He added: “Having argued an independent body should set the pay, I believe we should accept its recommendations.”
Comments are closed on this article.