Public outrage after Commons pushes ahead with £3,500 wage rise for MPs

Houses of Parliament in Westminster

Houses of Parliament in Westminster. - Credit: Tim Ireland/PA Wire

MPs have come under intense criticism after it emerged they would push ahead with recommendations to up their pay by more than £3,500.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is facing calls to freeze a pay rise for politicians as the rest of the country deals with the economic impacts of coronavirus.

IPSA has suggested MPs' wages should continue to be linked to the public sector three-month annual growth figure of 4.1%, which is likely to exceed inflation.

That means MPs who continue to work from home will see a rise of around £3,500 to their current salary of £81,932.

IPSA's interim chair, Richard Lloyd, said MP pay reviews have occurred almost every year since 2012.

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He said: "Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we don’t think it’s right to depart from this approach."

This comes after nearly 700,000 people in the UK lost their jobs between March and August as businesses were forced to shut in order to contain the spread of Covid-19, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

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More than 500,000 jobs in hospitality are expected to be lost by the end of this year.

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi has defended politicians taking the rise.

He told Sky News that although a pay rise was not "appropriate" in the middle of a pandemic, it was necessary for MPs' pay to be reviewed by an independent body.

Asked if IPSA was fit for purpose, he said: "An independent body has to be the right way forward. 

"They have to also explain themselves because they also exist in the court of public opinion."

Taking to Twitter, Joel Taylor wrote: "About as tone deaf as it gets."

Lori MacGregor wrote: "MPs to get £3,360 pay rise next year, bringing their salaries to £85,292. A kick in the teeth for those #excludeduk & #forgottenltd, or those have been been made redundant or had wage cuts due to #COVID19. Where's the solidarity?"

"So that’s great. Delighted for them. It REALLY is about time the IPSA were held to account. Oh and secondary jobs for MP’s should NOT be allowed. This lot really do just keep slapping us all in the face huh?" posted one user.

"It's sad that I'm not even surprised, the absolute disgrace of this," added another.

Zaff quipped: "We're in it together my arse."

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