Huntingdon and North West Cambs MPs have their say on pay rises

Jonathan Djanogly MP

Jonathan Djanogly MP - Credit: Archant

The area’s two MPs are happy to wait for a decision over controversial plans for a Westminster pay rise.

Shailesh Vara MP

Shailesh Vara MP - Credit: Archant

All MPs could see their pay rise by £19,000 over the next four years in a series of planned increases, to £86,000, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has announced.

IPSA was set up in December 2009, after the expenses scandal, to set the terms and conditions of MP’s pay and monitor their expenses and it wants to see an immediate 10 per cent increase – a rise of £7,000 – implemented at the end of June.

This is likely to cause embarrassment for the Government as it will coincide with an announcement about planned spending cuts. Some MPs have already said they will donate the extra money to charity.

Huntingdon MP Jonathan Djanogly said he was content to allow IPSA to make the decision, but would not be making any dramatic gestures if the pay award goes ahead as planned.

“It was always wrong to put this decision [MPs deciding their own pay levels] in the hands of MPs and I am happy to allow the independent regulator to make the decision and I am not going to comment on whether it is right or wrong.”

Mr Djanogly pointed out that there had been a five per cent cut in ministerial pay and pensions in 2010 and ministerial pay has also been frozen.

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Asked if he was tempted to donate any extra money to charity, he said: “No I don’t think so but I haven’t seen all the material on this yet.”

MP for North West Cambridgeshire, Shailesh Vara, said he was happy to wait until the matter had been fully debated.

“This is still in the consultation stage and I will make my decision in due course when I have more information about what precisely has been proposed.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has said he is opposed to any pay increase in principle, but feels the decision is beyond his control.

Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, and Eric Pickles, the former communities’ secretary, have announced they will give any extra pay to charity.

Downing Street wrote to IPSA at the beginning of the month asking for the planned rise to be abandoned. It said it was ‘not appropriate’.

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