Britain’s MPs could get a pay boost that outstrips public sector workers under new plans being discussed by theIndependent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).
The watchdog, which sets salaries,has proposed that it is given new powers to vary the annual pay for MPs “below or above” public sector pay.
MPs’ pay – which currently stands at £81,932 a year – has been closely linked to public sector pay rates of pay over the past five years.
But Ipsa wants greater leeway to make changes in pay – arguing that the Covid crisis means annual public sector pay rates could be a “much less reliable guide to changes in earnings than they are in ordinary times”.
It comes as Unions lashed out at a 3 per cent pay rise for NHS staff, accusing ministers of failing to recognise their efforts during the pandemic.
The Government – which has been branded “shambolic” for how it handled the issue – was already under attack for recommending a 1per cent pay rise despite the incredible pressure NHS staff have been under.
Prime minister Boris Johnson tweeted on Wednesday night: “Our NHS staff have been heroic throughout the pandemic, providing care and saving lives.
“To recognise the extraordinary contribution they have made they are receiving a 3per cent pay rise this year.”
A pay rise for MPs could outstrip that number under new Ipsa powers, but it is unlikely to do so this time around.
An Ipsa spokesman said: “As we make clear in the consultation, if current trends continue, we think it is more likely that we would be making a downward adjustment rather than an upward adjustment to the figure we use to determine pay for members of Parliament.”
The watchdog will launch a four-week consultation process on the proposed, with an announcement expected in the spring.