MPs will get a pay rise of more than £2,000 this year, the parliamentary pay watchdog has announced.
MPs will receive an extra £2,212 for the year from April 1, increasing their pay by 2.7% from £81,932 to £84,144, the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has announced.
The IPSA, which sets MPs’ salaries independently of parliament and government, said the salary increase was the same as the average salary increase for public sector employees last year.
The work of MPs “has increased considerably in the last year”
MPs’ salaries have remained unchanged for the past two years due to the pandemic and the two Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer had urged the IPSA not to raise it for the coming year.
In January, Mr Johnson urged the IPSA to show ‘restraint’ in setting MPs’ salaries and suggested salaries should remain the same, as he cited the cost of living pressures felt by families across the country.
Sir Keir Starmer echoed this too, saying all parliamentarians should say ‘we don’t need this pay rise and it shouldn’t be happening’ this year.
Richard Lloyd, President of IPSA, said: “MPs play a vital role in our democracy and this is reflected in their remuneration.
“It’s right that MPs are paid fairly for the responsibility and invisible work they do to help their constituents, which have increased dramatically over the past year.”
More money for MPs during the pandemic
MPs have not seen their basic salaries increase during the pandemic, but they have been able to access more money to run their home offices, as well as to have their staff work from home.
A few days before the March 2020 lockdown, IPSA told MPs they would get a £10,000 increase in their office expenses budget as well as an increase in the credit limit on their charge cards by £4 £000 to £10,000.
At the time, the IPSA said: “Most MPs’ staff moved at very short notice from being based in Westminster, or in a constituency office, to working from home.
“Many staff members were not set up to work from home, nor to support voters remotely.
“This additional funding is intended to help them make this transition, as they face a huge increase in the workload of voters in distress as a result of coronavirus Questions.”
Cost of living crisis
The pay rise for MPs comes as the government warned of a cost of living crisis, with an increase in the energy price cap coming in Aprilwhile food and almost all services have seen an increase.
Last week the chief executive of British Gas’ parent company Centrica waived its bounty as he said, it “didn’t feel right” as households grapple with unprecedented increases in their energy bills.
CEO Chris O’Shea said he decided to forgo the £1.1million bonus as the household supplies business reported a 44% rise in annual operating profit to £118million of pounds sterling.
In early February, the Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey has been criticized for suggesting workers shouldn’t be asking for big pay rises as the Bank battles runaway inflation.
A union leader described the comments as a ‘sick joke’, while Downing Street said the wage moderation advocated by Mr Bailey, whose last annual salary was over £575,000, was ‘not something the Prime Minister is calling”.