'It's time to stop setting our own pay rises' - MP Shapps

PUBLISHED: 11:10 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 22:14 26 October 2009

MPs should not be allowed to vote on their own pay rises, Welwyn Hatfield s parliamentarian has said, writes Chris Lennon. Grant Shapps told the WHT he would be voting against the inflation-busting recommended salary increase of 2.56 per cent. Instead, he

MPs should not be allowed to vote on their own pay rises, Welwyn Hatfield's parliamentarian has said, writes Chris Lennon.

Grant Shapps told the WHT he would be voting against the inflation-busting recommended salary increase of 2.56 per cent.

Instead, he is calling for MPs' pay to be kept to a 1.9 per cent rise - amid recent controversy over pay for teachers and police officers.

And he is in full support of the call by Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons, that tomorrow should mark the last time MPs get to vote on their own pay rises.

Mr Shapps said: "The time has come to take this out of MPs' hands entirely.

"As long as we have this vote it is always going to be embarrassing and difficult for MPs."

He said that MPs' pay rises should be set in line with civil service levels.

"That would be so much more sensible.

"I certainly cannot bring myself to vote for an inflation-busting sum when so many other people in public service, the police for example, are being held under 2 per cent."

Potters Bar MP James Clappison said he would also be voting for the lower rise, in line with other public sector increases.

Tomorrow's free vote in the Commons will see MPs voting on recommendations by the independent Senior Salaries Review Body, which would see basic wages rise from £60,277 to £61,820.

There would also be an additional £650 "catch up" payment for the next three years - to recognise that MPs have, in fact, had a series of below-inflation rises since 2002.

Allowances would also be given a £10,000 boost so MPs could employ additional staff.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants MPs to lead by example and reject the recommendations - instead voting for a 1.9 per cent rise in line with the public sector ceiling.

Other Times Territory MPs, Charles Walker, Oliver Heald and Barbara Follett, were unavailable for comment.

# What do you think? Email us at whtimes@archant.co.uk

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