MP Tessa Munt spells out opposition to pay increase

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Tessa Munt Tessa Munt

A ROW over plans to increase MPs’ pay has prompted Burnham and Highbridge member Tessa Munt to restate her opposition to a rise.

Parliamentary watchdog the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is set to recommend a pay rise of £7,600 to £74,000, to come in after the 2015 election. IPSA does not need the agreement of Parliament to bring in the changes.

Ms Munt, whose Wells constituency includes Burnham and Highbridge, said several people have asked for an update on her position regarding the potential pay rise.

She said: “My view, as I made clear last July, is unchanged. At a time when everyone is being asked by the Government to tighten their belts, anyone who suggests Members of Parliament should receive a pay rise is completely out of touch with reality.

“MPs debated freezing their own salaries in the House of Commons in March 2011. If I had the chance to vote against this, I would, but the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority makes the rules on pay, not MPs. I’m pretty sure that under the current system, I can’t even reject a pay rise, in much the same way as I can’t demand one.”

IPSA was set up as a response to the MPs’ expenses scandal and controls MPs’ pay and the costs of running their offices. It hasn’t published its report yet but it is thought it includes a recommendation of an 11% pay rise for those MPs elected in 2015.

Ms Munt added: “It’s the Government’s job to get the economy back on track. Maybe when we’re in a position to ensure all public sector workers have a decent pay increase we could reasonably expect IPSA to look at MPs’ pay packets. Until then – no thank you.”

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