MPs agreed yesterday to accept a below-inflation pay rise of 1.9 per cent instead of the 2.56 per cent increase recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body, after pressure from Government and Tory leaders.
Because the more conservative rise was backed by the Tories and Liberal Democrats it was approved by the Commons without a vote.
A report from the SSRB had said that annual salaries should rise from £60,277 to £61,820 in 2007/08 – which represents a larger percentage increase than that being given to the police and other public sector workers.
Commons leader Harriet Harman said: “Although the issue of MPs’ pay, pension and allowances is a thorny one, I hope that there will be agreement across the House on at least four things. That MPs should be properly paid for the important work that they do, that MPs should be reimbursed for what they spend doing their job as are people in any other line of work, that as MPs are paid from the public purse we should show the same discipline in our pay increases as other public sector workers, and that like everyone else we should not decide on our own pay and should not vote on our pay increases.”
The current system for determining MPs pay is set to be reviewed, particularly the need for the Commons approval to final decisions on salaries.