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Keir Starmer says it’s wrong for MPs to be given pay rise

Labour leader Keir Starmer answers questions from Nick Ferrari - Credit: LBC

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has criticised proposals for MPs to receive an inflation-busting pay rise next April.

The independent body which sets MPs’ salaries has proposed continuing to link their pay packets to wage growth in the public sector.

That could result in a pay rise of more than £3,300, taking their salaries to more than £85,000.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) is consulting on the scheme, which would use October’s three-month average public sector wage growth as the benchmark.

Although the exact figure is not yet known, September’s data would give MPs a 4.1% increase and Ipsa acknowledged that whatever the figure ends up being “it is likely to exceed the rate of inflation”.

Sir Keir told LBC radio: “We shouldn’t have it.”

The Labour leader said the decisions had been “parcelled out to an independent body so that MPs don’t decide for themselves what they get paid, but that’s mitigation, it’s not an excuse”.

“I think this year of all years, people would say that money, if it’s available, should be spent on key workers, those who’ve been on the front line through this pandemic.”

He added that there should be a cross-party discussion about what to do “because I suspect there’s lots of MPs that feel it just isn’t right”.

Richard Lloyd, Ipsa’s interim chairman, said the body has a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each parliament.

Major reviews were carried out in 2012, 2013 and 2015, with technical adjustments in 2018.

“Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we do not think it is right to depart from this approach now,” he said.

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