MPs to vote on their pay rise

MPs will be able to vote on whether or not to award themselves inflation-busting wage rises on July 3, after debating independent report on their pay by Sir John Baker as well as proposals on reimbursing expenses.

Graham Dines

MPs will be able to vote on whether or not to award themselves inflation-busting wage rises on July 3, after debating independent report on their pay by Sir John Baker as well as proposals on reimbursing expenses.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced this week that ministers will forgo their pay rises for 2008/9 to reflect the importance of public sector wage restraint at a time of economic uncertainty.

Harriet Harman, Leader of the House of Commons who is responsible for the parliamentary timetable, agreed to a suggestion from Conservative MP Christopher Chope that there should be separate debates on salary and expenses on July 3.


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“I will take up your proposal and we will have two separate debates, one on remuneration, pay and pensions and the other of reimbursement of expenditure which members need to run their office, to travel to and from their constituency, and to live away from their constituency when they're here and when the House is sitting,” said Ms Harman.

“The consensus is that there should be transparency, that we should ensure the public knows that public money is being spent properly and that will be the subject of the proposals that come forward in relation to members' allowances and reimbursement of expenditure.

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“While on the one hand MPs want to ensure there is confidence on how the money is spent, it is clear too that we must have freedom to debate in this chamber without having to look over our shoulder because our addresses have been published sometime in the past.”

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