MPs deciding on own salary rise is a farce’
THE current system for giving pay rises to MPs has been branded a farce . Oliver Heald talking on the eve of today s (Thursday) House of Commons debate on MPs pay said he wanted to see an independent body decide on salary scales. The MP told The Crow: I
THE current system for giving pay rises to MPs has been branded a "farce".
Oliver Heald talking on the eve of today's (Thursday) House of Commons debate on MPs pay said he wanted to see an independent body decide on salary scales.
The MP told The Crow: "It's not a satisfactory situation when members have to decide on their own pay.
"The whole system is a farce," he said.
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MPs are currently on a salary of £60,675 a year.
But a report from the Senior Salaries Review Body says that MPs have slipped behind comparable salaries in both the public and private sectors.
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It claimed that generous salary increases were now necessary.
The report recommended an increase of 2.56 per cent and a rise of almost £10,000 in allowances for MPs to employ extra staff.
The recommendations have already caused a row between the Government and backbenchers with Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisting that the increase should be restricted to 1.9 per cent.
Mr Heald, meanwhile, said MPs should not be expected to vote on an increase in their own pay.
"There should be an independent body that determines issues such as this without MPs having to get involved.
"It is a farce when we are voting for our own pay," he said.
The MP for North-east Herts said he supported pay restraint and would be looking carefully today at suggestions coming forward in the debate.
The pay rise being recommended will come as a package with increases over the next three years of 2.5 per cent annually.
Mr Heald added: "It's not a satisfactory situation to decide your own pay."
# Meanwhile, Mr Heald on Tuesday voted against a Bill to see the introduction of the European Union Treaty.
"The Bill brings the European Constitution into our law without a referendum."
He said the Government before the General Election in 2005 had promised people would be allowed a say on the changes in a referendum.
"Now they have gone back on that promise," he said. "I will continue to oppose the Treaty Bill and call for the referendum we were promised.
"Throughout the General Election in 2005, Labour politicians deflected questions about the European Constitution by saying there would be a referendum.
"Many Labour MPs were elected on this basis and are now voting to deny the public their right to vote," he said.