South Tyneside’s two MPs say a controversial move to give politicians a 10% pay hike doesn’t have their vote.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has awarded MPs a pay rise of nearly £7,000, from £67,060 to £74,000 – despite public sector increases being capped at 1%.
Prime Minister David Cameron had previously branded the move unacceptable, but will not seek to block the decision made by the watchdog.
South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck says she was “disappointed” that she and her fellow politicians are to seen their wages bolstered – but insists she has no option but to accept the cash boost.
Fellow Labour MP Stephen Hepburn, who represents Jarrow, said he does not think MPs ‘need’ the extra money.
Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “It is important that MPs’ pay is set independently, and nobody wants to see MPs voting on their own salaries.
“IPSA was set up to make sure these decisions are not made by MPs, and to prevent the abuses of the system that emerged in the expenses scandal in 2009.
“That is not a situation anybody wants to see return.
“However, it’s very disappointing that IPSA have decided to go ahead with this pay rise.
“The British public have been putting up with pay restraint for several years, and they will see this pay rise and think it is incredibly unfair.
“That sort of thing undermines people’s trust in politics, and IPSA should have recognised that before making this decision.
“There is no mechanism for MPs to opt out of or refuse the pay rise, and IPSA has been clear that the pay rise will go ahead despite MPs’ objections.
“However, I already give generously to a number of charities, and I plan to increase my donations following this decision.”
Stephen Hepburn MP added “I did not ask for this pay rise.
“ I do not think that MPs need it, and I did not vote for it.
“The decision has been made entirely independently and out of the hands of MPs as the public quite rightly demanded.”