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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 March 2008, 15:43 GMT
Senior Tory calls for MP pay rise
Shadow Commons leader Theresa May
Shadow Commons leader Theresa May is examining MPs pay
MPs should be paid more to cover the cost of having two homes and have their second home allowance removed, Conservative Theresa May has suggested.

Ms May, who is on the committee examining MPs' pay and expenses, said on BBC One's Politics Show the basic salary of 61,820 should be increased.

The second home payment of 22,000 for MPs from constituencies outside London should be cut, she added.

Ms May also called for "a stricter regime" governing MPs' spending.

She sits on the Members' Estimates Committee, chaired by Speaker Michael Martin, which is carrying out a review of the MPs' expenses system.

The review was partly prompted by a critical parliamentary report into MP Derek Conway's employment of his son while he was a student. He was suspended from the Commons and had the Tory whip withdrawn.

We should be operating on the same basis as people operate in the outside world
Theresa May
Shadow Commons leader

The annual "additional costs allowance" can be used to pay the rent or mortgage on an MP's second home in London.

But Ms May said: "I think we should take that housing allowance out; that's my personal view.

"There would need to be an increase in salary because most MPs do have to have two homes, that's an extra cost of being a member of Parliament."

The current allowance system also allows for MPs to spend 400 a month on shopping without receipts.

Ms May said: "I think MPs should be putting in receipts. We should be operating on the same basis as people operate in the outside world."

MPs are given allowances to run their office and pay their staff and there are no rules to stop wives, husbands, sons, daughters and other family members working for them.

Ms May also suggested that MPs' assistants should be employed by the House of Commons rather than paid out of the staffing allowance.

She called for a "stricter regime of receipts" to govern the fund for MPs to run their offices.

Conway case 'reported to police'
29 Jan 08 |  Politics
Tory MP Conway says 'I'm sorry'
28 Jan 08 |  Politics
In full: Derek Conway's response
28 Jan 08 |  Politics
MPs and employment of relatives
28 Jan 08 |  Politics


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