MPs' pay rise: Ed Miliband calls for decision now after David Cameron refuses to say whether he will accept 11% increase
Andrew Grice has been Political Editor of The Independent since 1998. He was previously Political Editor of The Sunday Times, where he worked for 10 years, and he has been a Westminster-based journalist since 1982. His column, Inside Politics, appears in The Independent each Saturday.
Monday 09 December 2013
An attempt by David Cameron to kick the vexed issue of MPs’ pay into the long grass was rebuffed by Ed Miliband on Monday night.
The Prime Minister insisted there was no need to take an immediate decision on whether to accept an inflation-busting 11 per cent salary hike to be recommended by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) on Thursday. It would take MPs’ earnings from £66,396 to £74,000 a year in 2015.
Downing Street, which declined to say whether Mr Cameron would accept the increase, said the proposal would be subject to a review after the May 2015 election, when a final decision would be taken.
But Mr Miliband tried to resolve the issue to prevent further damage to the reputation of politicians while it dragged on. He argued that the package could not go ahead during the biggest cost of living crisis for a generation.
Mr Miliband’s spokesman said: “We cannot have an outcome for MPs which does not command public confidence. Therefore we are asking the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats for a cross-party approach which recognises the current economic circumstances where workers in the public and private sectors are going through such difficult times.”
Downing Street rejected the Opposition’s proposal. A spokesman said: “There is no need for cross-party talks on this issue because we have already made clear that MPs shouldn’t be getting a pay rise at a time of public sector pay restraint.”
Mr Cameron’s view is unlikely to change by 2015 because last week’s autumn statement made clear that the downward pressure on public sector pay would continue beyond the election.
Clear differences between party leaders and their backbenchers have emerged on the issue. Charles Walker, a Conservative MP, said: “I've been working since I left university for 25 years and I have never turned a pay rise down and I don't intend to start turning any future pay rises down.”
The dilemma for party leaders is that blocking the increase would almost certainly require legislation to take away the power to fix MPs’ pay from Ipsa. It was handed the job in an attempt to end the controversy over MPs voting on their own salaries. Removing the power would take MPs back to square one.
Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year
London 'needs affordable housing'
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? And why has nobody taken legal action?
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...