12:00 Monday 23 December 2013

'I have always refused to vote on my pay' - MP

Written byJENNY MOODY

Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail..MP Andrew Griffiths Tory Party Chairman - Grant Shapps visiting the Burton Mail..MP Andrew Griffiths

‘NOT a snowballs chance in hell’ of the MPs 11 per cent pay rise being approved, Uttoxeter’s parliamentary representative has said.

Andrew Griffiths MP said he has always refused to vote for increases in his wages after watchdog Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) recommended a rise of £7,600 to £74,000, to come in after the 2015 election.

MPs currently earn a basic salary of £66,396 but IPSA said their pay has fallen behind in recent years and a substantial “one-off” rise is justified.

Mr Griffiths told The Advertiser he did not think the proposal would go through.

He said: “To use a Christmas analogy there is not a snowballs chance in hell of the pay rise being approved.

“Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg and Mr Milliband have all said they oppose it so I cannot see any way that it will go through.

“I have never asked for a pay rise and have always refused to vote on my pay and conditions.

“I can understand why people who have had a pay freeze or pay cut would think the timing of this proposal is very badly thought out.

“Of course even with these proposals any changes would not happen until after the next election.

“By which time the public would have had the chance to vote on who they would want as their next MP.”

However, IPSA does not need to get the agreement of Parliament to bring in the changes.

But treasury minister Danny Alexander was among the MPs urging it to reconsider, saying it would be “wholly inappropriate” at a time of curbs on pay in the public sector.

All three party leaders disagreed with the move when it was first proposed earlier this year but the watchdog is expected to say it will press ahead with the rise - expected to cost the public purse £4.6m.

The rise - to come into effect in May 2015 - comes as part of a package of changes to MPs’ salary and benefits.

These packages would also see some of the allowances MPs are entitled to scrapped.

Ipsa previously said it had looked at increasing the current salary of £66,396 to anywhere between £73,365 and £83,430, but opted for a lower figure “in recognition of the current difficult economic circumstances”.

After 2015, it proposes that MPs’ wages would increase annually in line with average UK earnings.

At the same time as recommending a pay rise, the watchdog announced a squeeze on pensions and the resettlement grants that MPs are given when they leave Parliament.

The amount that MPs have to contribute to their pensions is set to increase while MPs’ final salary scheme is expected to be downgraded to a career average in line with the rest of the public sector.

Other changes would also see a £15 dinner allowance and claims for tea and biscuits scrapped.

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