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Tue, 26 January 2021

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MPs' Pay Is Being Frozen Because Of The Economic Downturn

MPs' Pay Is Being Frozen Because Of The Economic Downturn

MP pay is usually linked to public sector pay, which grew by 4.1% over the last year (PA)

2 min read

The parliamentary authority has ruled that MPs will not get an annual pay rise in the 2021/22 financial year as it would be “inconsistent” with the ongoing economic crisis.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) — which oversees MP pay and expenses — confirmed on Friday that MP salaries would remain unchanged until at least April 2022.

MPs earning the basic wage of £81,932 would have been in line for a £3,359 pay rise had their salary increased by the usual rate.

Since 2015, MP pay rises have been linked to the average earnings in the public sector which, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), grew by 4.1% in June to August compared to the same period last year.

Private sector pay, however, remained unchanged during the same period, which prompted Rishi Sunak to announce a pay freeze for many public sector works last month.

The chancellor said he could not “justify a significant, across-the-board pay increase for all public sector workers” at such a “difficult” time for workers in the private sector.

In a letter to MPs, IPSA interim chair Richard Lloyd said: “The unprecedented impact of the Covid pandemic has had an unexpected, but different, effect on public and private sector earnings. 

“It is clear that applying the forthcoming official statistic for public sector earnings growth would result in a salary increase for MPs that would be inconsistent with the wider economic data and would not reflect the reality that many constituents are facing this year.

“The IPSA Board has therefore decided that the salary for Members of Parliament will remain unchanged for the financial year 2021-22.”

Last month, it was reported that Boris Johnson was against MPs receiving a pay rise amid the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Downing Street spokesperson said in November: “MPs’ salaries are obviously decided by an independent body but given the circumstances, the PM doesn’t believe MPs should be receiving a pay rise.”

They added that the prime minister had already acted where he had the power to do so and had frozen ministerial pay.

Since 2009, all matters relating to the pay and expenses of MPs and their staff has been overseen by IPSA, in response to the expenses scandal. 
 

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