Two Oxfordshire MPs pledge not to take pay rise

Banbury Cake: Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith

Two Oxfordshire MPs have pledged not to take an 11 per cent pay rise recommended by a parliamentary watchdog.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has outlined a proposal for MPs to receive an 11 per cent rise in their salaries, taking them from £66,396 to £74,000 from 2015.

But many politicians – including defence secretary Phillip Hammond and chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander – have rejected the rise.

Four of the six MPs representing Oxfordshire constituencies have expressed disappointment that the proposed rise is so high, and two, Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith and Banbury Tory MP Sir Tony Baldry, have pledged to give the increase away to charity if it is approved.

Oxford East Labour MP Andrew Smith said: “I think it’s right that MPs’ pay is now determined totally independently of MPs, so we don’t vote on our own pay, but IPSA should listen to public opinion.

“There’s clearly no way such an increase can be justified, and I doubt it will go ahead as there is a further review in 2015, but if it does, then I would listen to constituents’ views – which I think would be to make donations to local charities rather than to IPSA.”

Sir Tony said: “I am not sure whether it is possible ever to get MPs’ pay right. During my time in the House of Commons, MPs have tried having their pay linked to a particular grade in the civil service and that did not work.

“The rises do not come into effect until after the next general election and there will be a further statutory review by IPSA after the election.”

Oxford West and Abingdon MP Nicola Blackwood refused to confirm what she would do if the rise was approved.

She said: “As I have said consistently I do not believe MPs’ pay and pensions should go up at a time of public pay restraint. However, despite the headlines these proposals are still not a final decision.”

And Henley MP John Howell would not comment on what he would do with the increase.

Dr Howell said: “The situation we have now is better than the one we used to have. All parties agreed in 2009 to set up IPSA so that MPs would no longer have a say in setting their pay and pensions. So this is not a decision for the Government or for MPs, it is solely for IPSA.

“I will continue to make the case that IPSA should take into account overall public sector pay and pensions restraint, and that the cost of politics should go down and not up.”

Witney MP David Cameron and Wantage MP Ed Vaizey did not respond to requests for a comment.

But Natasha Whitmill, a spokesman for Mr Cameron said: “The Government made it clear in the consultation that IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and pensions restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay.

“We are disappointed that IPSA has not done so.

“We will continue to make the case that IPSA should take into account overall public sector pay and pensions restraint, and that the cost of politics should go down and not up.”

 

MPs ON WHETHER THEY WOULD give their extra cash away...

  • Andrew Smith, Labour, Oxford East: “There’s clearly no way such an increase can be justified, and I doubt it will go ahead as there is a further review in 2015, but if it does, then I would listen to constituents’ views – which I think would be to make donations to local charities rather than to IPSA.”
  • Sir Tony Baldry, Conservative, Banbury: “The Government made it clear in the consultation that in their view IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay. I think it is clear from comments made by the Prime Minister and others that the Government are disappointed that it has not done so.”
  • Nicola Blackwood, Conservative, Oxford West and Abingdon: “As I have said consistently I do not believe MP’s pay and pensions should go up at a time of public pay restraint. This is a message which the Government and the public have also clearly sent to IPSA. However, despite the headlines these proposals are still not a final decision. IPSA must conduct a further review after 2015 and I hope by then they will at last see sense.”
  • John Howell, Conservative, Henley: “The Government made it clear in the consultation that IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and pensions restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay. I am disappointed that IPSA has not done so.” 
  • David Cameron, Conservative, Witney (through a spokesman): “The Government made it clear in the consultation that IPSA should take into account overall public service pay and pensions restraint when addressing the issue of MPs’ pay. We are disappointed that IPSA has not done so.”
  • Ed Vaizey, Conservative, Wantage: Did not respond to request for comment.

To tell your MP what they should do with the rise, write to:

 

Comments (4)

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1:16pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Marco00 says...

So we protest, but what is likely to be the outcome of our protest.
I don't think even the daftest of bookmakers would make any odds on this.
So we protest, but what is likely to be the outcome of our protest. I don't think even the daftest of bookmakers would make any odds on this. Marco00

3:27pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Isawyoucoming says...

I think they deserve every penny oink oink.
I think they deserve every penny oink oink. Isawyoucoming

11:42am Wed 11 Dec 13

livid99 says...

They don't care....they all say they care when they are campaigning for election, but as soon as they get into office they forget it.
How can they possibly justify this, and even worse accept it, at a time when the rest of us are struggling ?
If they do accept it, it could be the final straw and the revolution could begin
They don't care....they all say they care when they are campaigning for election, but as soon as they get into office they forget it. How can they possibly justify this, and even worse accept it, at a time when the rest of us are struggling ? If they do accept it, it could be the final straw and the revolution could begin livid99

12:22pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Marco00 says...

Well, for all the down arrows so far, I can only assume that a lot of Gazette readers approve of these rich MP's getting 11 +% pay rise, whilst us pensioners and the average wage earner gets a pittance, if any, of an increase.
Their increase will be more than my pensions put together for a month...............
..
Well, for all the down arrows so far, I can only assume that a lot of Gazette readers approve of these rich MP's getting 11 +% pay rise, whilst us pensioners and the average wage earner gets a pittance, if any, of an increase. Their increase will be more than my pensions put together for a month............... .. Marco00

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