Thank you for contacting me about proposals to increase MPs’ pay.
I am aware that the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the independent body responsible for overseeing Members’ pay, pensions and expenses, has put forward proposals for the periodic adjustments to MPs’ salaries as part of its statutory duty to review Members’ remuneration in the first year of each Parliament.
I understand that suggestions to potentially increase MPs’ pay may be frustrating for you, especially given the economic impacts of Covid-19. The review of Members’ salaries is, however, merely a set of proposals and will be undergoing serious scrutiny before potentially being implemented.
It should be noted that the proposals are a continuation of the current arrangements which see Members’ pay change in-line with average rises for public sector workers, and this is based on data compiled by the independent Office for National Statistics (ONS). Following a three-year review by IPSA (which concluded in 2015), it was decided that MPs’ salaries would be benchmarked against average pay rises for public sector workers and updated on an annual basis. Changes in Members’ pay would, therefore, take effect in April each year, but would be based on changes to public sector pay in the previous October. This approach to benchmarking has the benefit of MPs’ pay reflecting developments in the economy, rather than driving them.
While I appreciate that IPSA has suggested that it continues to benchmark MPs’ pay against public sector averages, I do welcome the fact that individuals may wish to pursue a different approach. If you would like to respond to IPSA’s consultation on periodic adjustments to MPs’ pay, I would urge you to complete the consultation survey which can be found here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/Periodic_Adjustments_MPs_Pay_2020/.
Ultimately, however, while I appreciate that IPSA has proposed that the benchmarking of MPs’ salaries remains unchanged, I believe the widespread economic impacts of Covid-19 means it is inappropriate for MPs to receive an increase in pay at this time. Please be assured that I will press the Government to find an alternative solution to this situation or, when the increase is due to come into effect next year, I will donate the increase to a local charity in Hastings and Rye.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me about this issue.
Sally-Ann Hart MP