Brown to battle MPs over new pay rise

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Indy Politics

Gordon Brown is on a collision course with MPs from all parties as they demand an inflation-plus pay rise.

A long-delayed review of MPs' salaries next month by the Senior Salaries Review Body is expected to recommend a 6,000 increase by 2011 the equivalent of more than 3 per cent a year. MPs currently earn 60,675 a year.

The issue will be settled in a free vote but ministers will be ordered to support limiting pay rises to about 2 per cent, in line with the target for the public sector. Mr Brown fears that a bigger rise will alienate public sector workers.

Research by the Commons Library shows that MPs would be about 5,500 a year better off if their salaries had kept pace with increases in average earnings since 2002.

John Butterfill, a senior Tory backbencher, said: "We do have an official review body which is supposed to make sure [MPs] keep in line with other professions. I would hope that the Government agrees with the review body's recommendations."

But Mr Brown will urge MPs to set an example to the rest of the public sector.

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