MPs back pay curbs

LOCAL MPs all backed calls for restraint in their own pay in the House of Commons vote last week. Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said he would have preferred a freeze on Parliamentarians salaries but not on wages paid to their staff. Prime Minister Gord

LOCAL MPs all backed calls for restraint in their own pay in the House of Commons vote last week.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said he would have preferred a freeze on Parliamentarians' salaries but not on wages paid to their staff.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown had urged MPs to accept a staged settlement amounting to 1.9 per cent for themselves, compared to the full 2.56 per cent recommended by the independent Senior Salaries Review body.

That would have taken their salaries to £61,820 - up from £60,277 last year and £60,675 at present. Under the Government proposal, the increase to £61,820 would be staged so that the in-year value of the increase would be held to 1.9 per cent.


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MPs are, however, set to receive a £10,000 increase to their office staffing allowances, which are due to rise from £87,276 to £96,630 - a move Mr Djanogly is firmly behind.

"I backed the 1.9 per cent but I'm not particularly in favour of any increase at all, except for allowances for my office and for my staff, which are paid directly by the House of Commons and don't go through my bank account.

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"I'm not in favour of giving more money to MPs. It has become more of a profession than a vocation and I don't think that's healthy," Mr Djanogly, a corporate lawyer, said.

"At a time when individuals and companies are facing bankruptcy it would have set a bad example.

"It is not the Government's fault that the economy is in for a hard time, but the fact that we are poorly prepared for it is in the Government's control."

Andrew Lansley, MP for South Cambridgeshire, also backed the staged rise, which is comparable to that imposed on police officers.

"I could not see how we could vote for MPs to get 2.5 per cent in full when other public service professionals, like the police and nurses, have been staged down to 1.9 per cent. If we can't help police, then we shouldn't help ourselves," he said.

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