MPs blast call for Commons pay hike

Yvonne Fovargue MP

Yvonne Fovargue MP

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THE borough’s MPs have blasted recommendations they should receive a pay rise of almost 10 per cent at a time of public-sector austerity.

Politicians from all parties in the House of Commons reacted scathingly to comments made by Marcial Boo, the chief executive of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), saying MPs’ salaries should rise from £67,000 to £74,000 next year.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy both said the pay rise was impossible to justify at a time of widespread pay freezes for front-line workers, with Mr Burnham promising to give the extra money to charity if he could not reject it.

However, Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue said it was right IPSA sets MPs pay and pension levels rather than the House of Commons doing this work itself.

Ms Nandy said: “Ed Miliband has made it clear that he will block any attempts to raise MPs’ wages by calling a vote in parliament. I hope the other political parties will support us. In a time of pay cuts and pay freezes the only way to restore confidence in politics is for this to be stopped altogether.”

Mr Burnham said: “This just cannot be justified in any way, shape or form. All of us knew the arrangements when we went into politics and, contrary to what many people may think, most MPs I know do not do this for the money.

“I am sick of these stories which make it look as though there is one rule for us and one for everybody else.”

Mr Boo told a national newspaper the pay rise reflected the UK’s improving economic performance and was needed to attract top talent to Westminster.

Ms Fovargue said: “It is absolutely right that MPs should no longer set their own pay and pensions and this matter is now determined by an independent body.

“This is the right way to progress this matter and I do not want to see a return to the old system which led to the scandal of the last parliament.”