High Peak MP blasts 11% pay rise

Andrew Bingham MP
Andrew Bingham MP

High Peak MP Andrew Bingham has criticised plans to award MPs an 11 per cent pay rise, branding the proposal “wholly inappropriate”.

At present, MPs earn a basic salary of £66,396, which the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Ipsa, is recommending should be increased to £74,000, a rise of £7,600, following the May 2015 elections.

Mirroring many views at Westminster, he told the Advertiser: “I think it would be wholly inappropriate at the present time. They’ve come along with this figure of 11 per cent when people are struggling.

“I can not understand it. The government is keen, and I’m keen, to get the cost of politics down. My constituents are having their wages frozen or their pay rises capped at one per cent. I feel it would be hard to stomach. I’d feel uncomfortable and I couldn’t look people in the face.”

The parliamentary watchdog is expected to announce the hike on Thursday, after consultation ended in October.

It argued that members of parliaments’ wages had fallen behind and were due a one-off boost.

Andrew added: “I’m very satisfied with what I’m paid. I’ve never sought a pay rise and I never will. My constituents are paid on average between £20,000 and £25,000 and I earn two and a half times that. I really do understand people’s frustration. Do they have no sense? It’s so bloody insensitive.”

The Tory politician refused to comment on whether he would accept the rise, explaining that Ipsa still had to conduct a statutory review of pay at the start of the next parliament and even then he would only face that decision if he was reelected.

The MP said he never claims for food or taxis so the proposed changes to benefits such as a £15 dinner allowance being scrapped and taxpayer-funded taxis only being permitted after 11pm would not affect him.

After 2015, Ipsa proposes that salaries increase annually in line with average UK earnings.