MPs' anxiety at 11% pay rise
MPs in Devon and Cornwall are split over their pay and perks watchdog proposing an 11% pay rise after the general election – with some arguing they are "underpaid" and others pushing for the plans to be dropped.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) yesterday said an MPs' annual salary should rise to £74,000 from their current income of £66,000.
Ipsa hoped the new pay and pensions package would draw a line under the 2009 expenses scandal it would was set-up to tackle. But party leaders have made clear their anger at the inflation-busting hike amid public sector pay restraint.
Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon, said: "Historically MPs are underpaid, most people in communities would recognise that we are historically underpaid, but we shouldn't be discussing it now at a time of austerity."
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Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrat MP for North Devon, said the move would be "inappropriate in the present economic circumstances" but that it should be kept "under review" as the economy recovers.
Sarah Newton, Conservative MP for Truro and Falmouth, said: "The public don't want candidates squabbling over whether or not they should accept a rise in 2015, they want the proposals dropped, and dropped now."