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Last Updated: Monday, 4 December 2006, 11:51 GMT
Anger at MPs' '66% pay rise call'
Houses of Parliament
Some MPs are said to be calling for a 66% pay rise
MPs have been criticised after reports some are calling for a 66% pay rise, taking salaries to 100,000 a year.

MPs are reported to have written to the Senior Salaries Review Board saying the rise is needed to bring them into line with senior civil servants and GPs.

GMB union chief Paul Kenny condemned the news at a time when low-paid public workers' pay rises are capped at 3%.

In August Tony Blair said politicians' salaries should no longer be linked to senior civil servants' pay packets.

The Sunday Times reported that some Labour and Conservative MPs had written to the Senior Salaries Review Board calling for the increase to their 60,277 annual salary.

'Pay them more'

Former Conservative MP Michael Portillo told the BBC MPs who could earn more than the 60,000 salary privately, would go out and do so.

"And then people get upset that they are doing more than one job - then that's going to be a problem," he said.

"If you want MPs to live on their MPs' salary you are probably going to have to pay them more."

Is it any wonder that people are cynical about politicians?
Paul Kenny
GMB general secretary

Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey said such a large increase was not justified, but denied that the long summer recess meant MPs did not work hard.

"None of them, I reckon, would be working less than about a 70 hour week - even the ones I haven't the highest admiration for."

MPs' pay has been linked to the salaries of senior civil servants since 1996, as well as being reviewed every three years.

COMMONS SALARIES
MP - 60,277
Minister of state - 99,908
Opposition leader - 130, 312
Cabinet minister - 136, 677
Prime minister - 187, 611

But in August Mr Blair called for that to be changed, as higher pay offers were now being used to recruit senior civil servants.

GMB general secretary Paul Kenny condemned the MPs' claim saying: "These are the same people who protected their own pension scheme but cut the pensions of the lowest-paid public sector workers."

He added: "Is it any wonder that people are cynical about politicians? They are out to lunch and they want someone else to pay."

Blair Gibbs, of the Taxpayers' Alliance agreed, saying it showed MPs were out of touch.

"At a time of disillusionment with mainstream politicians I don't think this is the answer. I don't think we want 659 people in Parliament, on those green benches, just there because it pays well."

In October it was revealed that average expenses and allowances claims had hit 86.8m, or an average of 131,000 per MP.


SEE ALSO
MPs' expenses claims exceed 86m
26 Oct 06 |  UK Politics
Blair warns against MP pay rises
07 Aug 06 |  UK Politics
Ex-minister pay-offs 'grotesque'
24 Jun 05 |  UK Politics
MPs' Pay
22 Dec 05 |  UK Politics
MPs' pay to rise by 2.5%
28 Feb 02 |  Politics
MPs' pay touches 50,000
09 Feb 01 |  Politics

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