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Gavin calls on IPSA to abandon £7k bumper pay-rise for MPs

Gavin Newlands, the new MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has today called on the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) – the independent body that is responsible for monitoring the expenses and setting the salaries of MPs – to scrap their plans to give MPs a £7,000 pay increase bring MPs’ salaries to £74,000.

IPSA launched its final consultation, MPs’ Pay in the 2015 Parliament: A Consultation, on the 10 per cent pay rise on 2nd June 2015. In Part 3 of the consultation document, IPSA admits that “We found no evidence that the level of pay had a direct impact on candidates putting themselves forward for election to Parliament, or on MPs continuing to serve.” (Page 8). In Part 4 of the consultation document, IPSA argues:

“While we do not take into account future predictions in the review of our determination, we note that the International Monetary Fund and the Office for Budget Responsibility both predict that the UK will continue to be economically healthy over the coming years. Taking all these data together, we can see no clear reason why the economic circumstances today should lead us to depart from the determination of £74,000 that we reached in December 2013.” (Page 10-11).

Gavin Newlands MP has written to the Chief Executive of IPSA, Sir Ian Kennedy, to express his personal opposition to receiving a pay increase of £7,000 and has urged him to abandon the plans. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has refused to intervene and block the pay rise.

Gavin Newlands, the MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“The decision by IPSA to award a £7,000 pay-rise to MPs – at a time of harsh austerity and severe financial difficulty for many people, when workers in both the public and private sectors are receiving modest pay rises, or even none at all – is simply outrageous and completely unacceptable.

“I believe that the arguments outlined by IPSA in defence of this 10 per cent increase in MPs’ pay do not stack up – they have admitted in their consultation document that the salary of an MP is not a determinant for standing to be an MP or continuing to serve as an MP.

“IPSA cite improving economic circumstances as an argument for giving MPs an increased salary of £74,000 per annum. However, in reality, people and families the length and breadth of Scotland – the people that we were elected to represent – simply are not feeling this economic recovery yet.

“Unfortunately, the salaries of MPs are set and paid by the independent body and, rather ridiculously, it is not possible for MPs to decide not receive them. Nevertheless, if IPSA proceed with their plans to increase our pay I personally will make necessary arrangements to ensure that I do not financially benefit from the £7,000 increase and, instead, will ensure that local charities in Renfrewshire and their causes are the sole benefactors.”

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