“MPs’ pay will rise to £74,000 as part of a package of changes to their remuneration,” IPSA confirm this morning: “The pay rise will be backdated to 8 May 2015”.
The expenses watchdog are spinning that this is a good deal for the taxpayer because the new rules mean MPs “can no longer claim for the costs of hospitality, evening meals, taxis home from Westminster when working late”, and the scandal of resettlement payments has been ended. That hardly makes up for the public sector pay cap-busting 10% hike.
Here is IPSA chief Ian Kennedy:
“Parliament gave IPSA the power to deal with the vexed issue of MPs’ pay – independent of Parliament and Government. Pay has been an issue which has been ducked for decades, with independent reports and recommendations from experts ignored, and MPs’ salaries supplemented by an opaque and discredited system of allowances.
“We have made the necessary break with the past. We have created a new and transparent scheme of business costs and expenses, introduced a less generous pension scheme, where taxpayers contribute less and MPs make a higher contribution, and scrapped large resettlement payments. We have consulted extensively on MPs’ pay, and with today’s decision we have put in place the final element of the package for the new Parliament.
“In making this decision we are very aware of the strongly held views of many members of the public and by some MPs themselves. We have listened to those views. We have made an important change to the way in which pay will be adjusted annually. Instead of linking MPs’ pay to wages in the whole economy, it will be linked to public sector pay.
“Over the last Parliament, MPs’ pay increased by 2%, compared to 5% in the public sector and 10% in the whole economy. It is right that we make this one-off increase and then formally link MPs’ pay to public sector pay.”
Celebratory subsidised drinks on the terrace later?