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Thursday, 28 February, 2002, 17:39 GMT
MPs' pay to rise by 2.5%
MPs in the House of Commons
MPs will also receive a 2,000 boost.
MPs and ministers are to receive a 2.5% annual pay rise in April - almost double the current headline inflation rate of 1.3%, it emerged on Thursday.

In addition to the inflation-busting rise, they will receive the second half of a 4,000 salary increase which the politicians voted themselves last year, boosting their total pay packet to 55,118.

Tony Blair's extra entitlement as prime minister rises by 2.5% to 116,436, on top of his parliamentary salary as MP for Sedgefield, making a total 171,554.

Salaries from 1 April:
Prime Minister
116,436
Cabinet ministers
69,861-124,979
MPs
55,118
Chief of Defence Staff
152,517
Lord Chief Justice
185,145

Cabinet ministers will see their entitlement rise by the same percentage to 69,861, with those who are also members of the Commons also receiving their MPs' salaries - a total of 124,979.

The salary increases for MPs' and ministers are automatically linked to the increases for senior civil servants recommended by the Senior Salaries Review Body.

High-flier inducement

In a written parliamentary reply, Mr Blair announced on Thursday that he had accepted the body's recommendation of a 2.5% hike from 1 April for senior civil servants and senior military officers.

But he decided to stage the 8% increase recommended for judges, who will receive 3.6% this year and the remaining 4.4% in April 2003.

In a bid to attract high-fliers from the private sector to head government departments, the review also includes a massive hike in the maximum salary available to senior civil servants.

The reform of senior pay will mean future permanent secretaries could earn as much as 245,000 a year, compared to the maximum 179,000 now.

In fact, no permanent secretary will earn more than 200,000 next year, said the Cabinet Office, which added that the reform was also designed to "reward people properly" for their contribution to the public services.

Differing salaries

At present, the highest-paid of the 33 permanent secretaries is Cabinet Secretary Sir Richard Wilson, who earns between 175,000 and 179,000.

About 3,300 people - the top 1% of civil servants - are included in the pay awards.

All awards are arranged in wide bands, with exact pay related to performance.

Civil servants in the same pay bands could receive salaries differing by as much as 100,000, depending on how well they are thought to have performed.

The Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Sir Michael Boyce will see his salary rise to a maximum 152,517 after the pay rises.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Woolf, the senior judge of England and Wales, will receive 185,145 when the full 8% judicial salary increase is implemented in April 2003.

See also:

13 Feb 02 | UK Politics
Senior MPs poised for extra pay
27 Jul 01 | M-O
MPs' Pay
16 Mar 01 | UK Politics
MPs in line for 2,000 pay rise
09 Feb 01 | UK Politics
MPs' pay touches 50,000
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