Hartlepool MP slams ‘ridiculous’ pay rise of £7k for politicians

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright.
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HARTLEPOOL MP Iain Wright has slammed proposals by an expenses watchdog that has recommended MPs’ pay should rise by more than £7,000 a year.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has revealed its recommendations that would see MPs’ pay rise from £66,396 to £74,000 in May 2015, adding £4.6m to the Commons salary bill once extra national insurance contributions are taken into account.

But town MP Mr Wright has labelled the proposals “ridiculous, ill-advised and out of touch with public opinion”.

National party leaders have also condemned the proposals, with MPs saying Ipsa should go back to the drawing board.

Prime Minister David Cameron has previously expressed his concerns about the potential rise, urging the body to “show restraint”.

But despite recommending a rise in pay, Ipsa has also proposed cuts to perks such as meal allowances and taxis and a less generous pension scheme while “golden goodbyes” paid to retiring MPs could also be cut.

Mr Wright said: “I do not think that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has taken note of the current financial situation.

“The recommendation is huge and it is excessive.

“When people are seeing their pay frozen, and sometimes cut, to give MPs an increase of nine to 10 per cent is just ridiculous, ill-advised and out of touch with public opinion.”

Ipsa is to consult on the rise but MPs cannot block it because they handed control of the decision to the independent body after the 2009 expenses scandal.

Mr Wright has urged people to make their views known in the consultation.

He added: “There will be a consultation and I would urge everybody to contribute to that and make their feelings known.

“At this moment in time I do not think the feeling of the public is being understood.”

Mr Wright has previously said that he knew when he got the job of MP what the pay was, as did every other MP, and he said it has never “been an issue”.

Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy has remained defiant, insisting it was doing the right thing and MPs’ pay had to “catch up” after years of being suppressed.

Easington MP Grahame Morris was not available for comment.