By Soyal Khedkar | Contributor
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) proposed a £3,300 pay rise for MPs, to take effect from April 2021. IPSA carried out an extensive review with multiple consultations to examine what MPs salaries between 2012 and 2015. The expert input from academics, technical input from consultants and engagements from members of the public ,both internal and external to Parliament, are some factors that determine MPs level of pay. This pay rise has used the same calculations present in previous reviews of MPs salaries.
COVID-19 has led to market instability and multiple lockdowns which in turn have plunged the UK into recession for the second time in as many decades. Every country’s economy is on the downturn, with some others in an economic depression as well. Specifically speaking, the United Kingdom’s GDP fell 2.2% in the first quarter of 2020.
An increase in MPs salaries often garners much critique. Nadhim Zahawi, the second-highest earning MP in the UK, mentioned that he didn’t think the pay rise was ‘appropriate’. The business minister said that he would donate his increase to charity. Labour frontbencher Lucy Powell also said she would donate her increase to charity.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan tweeted:
This isn't right. Millions face job uncertainty and to give us MPs a payrise now just sends the wrong message and highlights the economic divide in our country.
I'll be refusing this payrise, and if I'm unable to refuse – I'll donate it to charity.https://t.co/4ctwWKcbNa
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) October 9, 2020
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has called for a cross-party discussion regarding the issue, “That money, if it’s available, should be spent on key workers– those who have been on the frontline through this pandemic.”
An economic downturn
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported that nearly 700,000 people in the UK lost their jobs between March and August. 500,000 jobs in the hospitality industry alone are expected to have disappeared by the end of the year.
Lockdowns, 10 pm curfews, and orders for businesses to close temporarily have resulted in less money being circulated through the economy, which is a primary cause for these statistics. Many MPs have mentioned how they believe their pay rise is not appropriate when millions of jobs are on the line.
Richard Lloyd, IPSA’s interim chair said: “IPSA is responsible for setting MP’s pay and pensions. We act independently of Parliament and have a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each Parliament.”
“Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we do not think it is right to depart from this approach now.”
The MPs pay proposal is now open for consultation until November 6, 2020, with a final decision due sometime in December.
twitter Follow @gairrhyddpol for all of the latest updates from the world of politics.