MPs oppose plans to give themselves a pay rise amid pandemic

Black Country MPs say plans to give themselves a pay rise should be scrapped due to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jane Stevenson is one of 51 Tory MPs to oppose the planned pay rise
Jane Stevenson is one of 51 Tory MPs to oppose the planned pay rise

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) said MPs could be entitled to a rise of more than £3,000 next year – taking their basic salaries to around £82,500.

But a group of more than 50 Conservative MPs – including Wolverhampton North East MP Jane Stevenson and West Bromwich East MP Nicola Richards – have opposed the plans due to the hardship the country is facing during the Covid crisis.

In a letter to IPSA interim chair Richard Lloyd, the MPs say: "To support people’s jobs and livelihoods, the Government has introduced unprecedented measures, totalling £200 billion.

"But at such a time, where the Government may be asking for restraint elsewhere, we believe it is neither appropriate nor justifiable to be awarding MPs pay rises.

"Therefore, as the independent body responsible for setting MPs’ pay, we are calling on you to scrap the three per cent pay rise we are set to receive and freeze MPs’ pay."

Ms Stevenson said: "The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of economic hardship, with unemployment rising and many people uncertain about their own jobs and livelihoods.

"Given this, I do not think it is right to be awarding MPs a pay rise.

"MPs’ pay is rightly set by an independent organisation, as it would be wrong for MPs to vote on their own salaries, but nevertheless I wanted to make my views heard in the consultation and I hope IPSA now do the right thing and scrap the proposed pay rise."

No 10 has also spoken out against the proposed pay rise, which is due in April, saying the extra cash should not be awarded "given the circumstances" of the pandemic.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a public sector pay freeze in this week's spending review, although those in the NHS and the lowest paid are getting a pay rise.

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