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No. 10 coy on MP wage rise

No. 10 coy on MP wage rise
Downing Street has refused to condemn calls by MPs for a pay hike of more than 30%.

A poll by IPSA found over two thirds of MPs think they are underpaid and would like a rise in their salaries. On average, Parliamentarians say an MP’s salary should be £86,250.

And No.10 this afternoon distanced David Cameron from the negotiations. "His personal opinion is that it's a matter for IPSA," the Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said.

"The 'i' in IPSA I think is 'independent'. When it comes to pay for which the Prime Minister is responsible, such as ministerial pay, he's cut that by 5% on coming into office and has frozen it across the Parliament."

The survey was carried out as part of the expenses watchdog’s first public consultation into MPs' salaries and expenses.

"In the past, MPs have agreed their pay and pensions among themselves," IPSA chair Sir Ian Kennedy said.

"So this new approach of independent decision making marks a real and important change and is another crucial step in helping Parliament to regain the trust of the public."

Speaking on PM, Tory MP Andrew Bridgen defended the calls for a wage rise, saying that there was a danger of excluding the "right people" from Parliament if salaries remained the same.

"I know MPs who will say in private every year they are getting poorer," he said. "Most of my colleges on the Government bench took a large pay cut to be an MP, and I think there is a real danger – you need good people, you need the right people – there are a lot of exclusions.

"Basically anybody earning good money in business or even in the public sector, with a family, that is a very, very difficult decision for them – the impact on them and their family to take a pay cut. Qualified doctors that are Members of Parliament could be certainly be earning twice as much as MPs."

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