Cameron to cut MPs' pensions

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Indy Politics

David Cameron pledged to end "gold-plated" pensions for new MPs as part of a package of proposals to restore trust in Parliament.

Yesterday, the Tory leader called for an end to the "pensions apartheid" between Westminster and private-sector employees who have to fund MPs' generous retirement terms through their taxes, while their own final salary schemes have been closed.

MPs will face fresh allegations of greed when the Senior Salaries Review Body report is published tomorrow recommending a pay increase of 2.8 per cent. Gordon Brown has pleaded with Labour MPs to restrict the rise to 1.9 per cent to hold the line on public sector pay rises. Mr Cameron announced yesterday that the Tories will support the Government on MPs' pay.

But many Labour and Tory MPs are ready to defy their leaders and vote for the full increase.

Leaders of more than a million council workers yesterday also rejected Mr Brown's calls for pay restraint by lodging an inflation-busting claim for a6 per cent pay rise.

Mr Brown gave strong hints to MPs at a private meeting last week that their pensions will be protected if they vote for a lower rise in their pay. In a leaked note to MPs, Shona McIsaac, a member of Labour's Parliamentary Committee, said: "I'd like to reassure people who were concerned about the impact of any government recommendation on pensions, that they can unfurrow their worried brows."

The MPs' vote next week will exacerbate the row over police pay. In angry Commons scenes yesterday, a succession of Labour MPs turned on the Home Secretary to demand a free vote on the issue.