MPs may rebel over block on pay rise

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Indy Politics

MPs are threatening to stage a revolt over being held to a pay rise of about 2 per cent, taking their income to £63,000 a year.

Senior backbenchers are calling for parliamentarians to be given salaries of £75,000 after the next election with expenses on top. But Gordon Brown has called for restraint and ordered the Cabinet and all ministers to forgo their pay increases this year as part of the attempts to control public sector wages, which have been cut in real terms while inflation has almost doubled.

The Government will allow a rise in MPs' salaries of about £1,236 this year, but it has rejected a recommended rise of more than 3.5 per cent by Sir John Baker, past chairman of the Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB), appointed to carry out an independent review of MPs' pay. Sir John said MPs were in danger of falling 10 per cent behind equivalent public sector groups and said their salaries should rise this year from £61,820 to £64,634, backdated to April. He also recommended they should be given a catching-up bonus of £650 a year, but his proposals were rejected by Mr Brown. However, while ministers have had to agree to sacrifice their own rise, MPs could rebel when they vote on their own pay rises on 3 July.

David Maclean, a Tory member of the MPs' Estimate Committee, said they will call for MPs' pay to rise after the election to £75,000. "We have based our memorandum on the evidence from the SSRB and that inevitably leads to a conclusion that MPs should get £75,000 a year," he said.

Harriet Harman, the Leader of the Commons, has the task of persuading MPs to accept rises of about 2 per cent and a link with public sector pay rises.