SNP MPs at Westminster are giving their £7,000 pay rise to charity

But Conservative minister says the 'silent majority' of MPs will take it

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Indy Politics

The Scottish National Party’s MPs have been told by their party leadership to donate their pay rises to charity.

Westminster MPs of all parties are getting a 10 per cent, £7,000, boost to their pay packets after the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority said they were not paid enough.

MPs cannot opt out of the rise, which is set automatically. However, Angus Robertson, the SNP’s Westminster group leader, said:

“Now is a time of austerity and huge financial difficulties for far too many people. It is not right for MPs to have a pay-rise in these circumstances.

“As IPSA has gone ahead with these changes, I think it would be right to use the funds to support good causes.’’

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The Palace of Westminster, where the houses of Parliament are located

David Cameron told ITV News yesterday that it was right that MPs “should take the rate for the job”. He however said it was not the correct decision to raise pay and that it presented an opportunity for charitable giving.

“Personally I think the right thing to do is to be paid the rate for the job and that’s what I will do,” he said.

“As many MPs have said it gives you an opportunity to do more in terms of charitable giving and things like that but I think MPs … you’re paid a rate for the job and you should take the rate for the job and it’s done independently.”

 

Some MPs from across the political spectrum have also said they will donate the rise to charity, including Yvette Cooper, a candidate for the Labour leadership.

However, others said they deserved the increase.

“I know I speak for the silent majority (who are not millionaires) to say this increase is well overdue,” Conservative minister Tobias Ellwood told Ipsa's public consultation.

“I never expected to be watching the pennies at my age and yet this is what I now have to do.”

Sir Ian Kennedy, Ipsa’s chairman, described the rise from £67,060 to £74,000 as a “one-off adjustment” to make up for previous pay restraint.

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