Fury as MPs get £3,300 pay rise to £85,291 while thousands lose jobs to Covid


Fury as MPs get £3,300 pay rise to £85,291 while thousands lose jobs to Covid – as business minister Nadhim Zahawi says ‘inappropriate’ increase should go to charity

  • IPSA yesterday revealed proposals for all MPs salaries to increase by £3,360 
  • Rise would be in line with the public sector’s three-month annual growth figure 
  • Around 695,000 people lost their jobs in the UK between March and August

Furious MPs have hit out at proposals to hand them a pay rise of more than £3,000 after hundreds of thousands of Britons lost their jobs in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) yesterday set out plans to raise the wages of MPs by 4.1 per cent in line with the public sector’s three-month annual growth figure.    

The proposals would see all MPs receive a pay rise of £3,360, taking their salaries to £85,291. 

Around 695,000 people lost their jobs in the UK between March and August as businesses were forced to close their doors in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus, according to the Office for National Statistics.  

Meanwhile, MPs were handed an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent increase in March, bringing their basic annual salary to almost £82,000.   

The latest proposals for MPs pay, which are subject to a consultation, have been criticised by business minister Nadhim Zahawi (pictured), who insisted the rise is ‘inappropriate’

It was a substantial real-terms rise at a time when inflation was running at 1.5 per cent. MPs also received increased expenses to cover the cost of staffing their Parliamentary offices. 

The latest proposals, which are subject to a consultation, have been criticised by business minister Nadhim Zahawi, who insisted the pay rise is ‘inappropriate’.

He told Sky News: ‘I don’t think a pay rise is appropriate. I think it’s a privilege in many ways to serve your country.

‘It’s independent but I think it’s incumbent on the leadership of IPSA to also explain to the public… as to why they think this is the right thing to do.

‘They have to also explain themselves because they also exist in the court of public opinion.’

The Stratford-upon-Avon MP added he will donate his pay rise to ‘one of my very good causes’, for example the Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford. 

Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers Lucy Powell (pictured) said she would donate any additional money to charity

Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers Lucy Powell (pictured) said she would donate any additional money to charity

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people on payrolls was down 36,000 in August from July. It is now 695,000 lower than in March

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the number of people on payrolls was down 36,000 in August from July. It is now 695,000 lower than in March

The unemployment rate rose from 3.9 per cent to 4.1 per cent in the quarter to July - the highest in two years, according to the latest official data

The unemployment rate rose from 3.9 per cent to 4.1 per cent in the quarter to July – the highest in two years, according to the latest official data

His pledge was echoed by Shadow Minister for Business and Consumers Lucy Powell, who said she would donate any additional money to charity.

Labour MP Rosena Allin-Khan told the i she would refuse the pay rise, adding: ‘Millions face job uncertainty and to give us MPs a payrise now just sends the wrong message and highlights the economic divide in our country.’

MP for Bishop Auckland Dehenna Davison said: ‘This is literally the first I’ve heard of this and I think it’s a bloody stupid decision.’

A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the pay rise is a ‘matter for IPSA’ when asked if the Prime Minister would donate the additional cash.  

The interim chairman for IPSA, Richard Lloyd, said: ‘We act independently of Parliament and have a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each Parliament.’

The consultation will close on November 6 with a decision expected the following month.  

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