Boris Johnson backs down on giving ministers a pay rise following backlash on MPs wage boost

Boris Johnson holds a cabinet meeting with Tory ministers. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA.

Boris Johnson holds a cabinet meeting with Tory ministers. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA. - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Ministers are set to have their pays frozen amid backlash about an expected £3,500 pay rise for MPs.

On Tuesday, Boris Johnson confirmed his ministers will miss out on a wage increase expected for 2021-2022.

Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister has decided that at a time of significant pressure on public finances, it is only right that ministerial salaries should be frozen.”

Government minister will still get the pay rise MPs are set to receive but not on the additional salary they receive for being members of the government.

The salaries of ministers have been frozen since 2020, meaning they have missed out on £4,128 over that period, Downing Street has said.

On Friday, The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) caused outrage after it suggested MPs' should receive a pay rise in line with the public sector three-month annual growth figure of 4.1%, which is likely to exceed inflation.

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

While MPs’ pay is set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, ministerial salaries are fixed by the government and successive prime ministers since 2010 have held them down to avoid a political backlash.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said increasing MPs' salaries during a national crisis such as a pandemic was wrong.

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He said: "We shouldn’t have it.

"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."

Salaries for ministers in the House of Lords, who receive expenses but not pay for their service as members of the second chamber, will remain at 2019-20 levels.

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