Cameron threats on MPs’ pay rise

David Cameron (below) has made veiled threats over the proposed MPs' pay rise.
David Cameron (below) has made veiled threats over the proposed MPs' pay rise.
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Prime Minister David Cameron has urged the MPs’ pay regulator to “think again” after it confirmed plans for an 11% hike.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) said salaries would go up from the current level of £66,000 to £74,000 after the general election in 2015.

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

It insisted that pensions will be curbed and other benefits trimmed to ensure the overall changes are cost-neutral.

But the Prime Minister repeated his thinly veiled threat to the body that he would not “rule out... taking action “ if it presses ahead with the proposed rise, which is due to be confirmed after the 2015 election.

Mr Cameron told BBC WM: “This isn’t a final recommendation. They should think again and I very much hope they do. I don’t rule out, and I don’t think anyone rules out, taking action if they don’t modify this proposal.”

Mr Cameron said: “What I have said is that we shouldn’t rule anything out but I don’t want to go back to a situation, if we can possibly avoid it, where MPs vote on their own pay.

“The whole point of this reform was to get this out of the hands of MPs. But, as I said in the House yesterday, we need a process and an outcome in which the public can be confident.”

A one-off pay increase at a time of public sector wage restraint was “not on”, he added. Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have also spoken out against the proposed rise.

In a foreword to its report, the Ipsa board wrote: “We have a choice to make: either we say it is too difficult and ignore the issue for another number of years, or we address it with those sensitivities in mind.

“We choose the second option. We feel any other choice would be to abandon our responsibility, which Parliament gave us, to fix this problem once and for all.”

Ipsa chairman Sir Ian Kennedy insisted the package put together by the regulator could not be “unpicked”. “This is a package, a package of reforms. You cannot unpick it. You can’t say that bit we like and that bit we do not.”

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