Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Tuesday, 13 April 2010 01:03 UK

Bracknell candidates call for higher MP salaries

Andrew MacKay and Julie Kirkbride
Andrew MacKay and Julie Kirkbride are both standing down

Candidates for the main parties in Bracknell have said MPs should be paid more in the wake of the expenses row.

Conservative MP Andrew Mackay decided not to stand after it emerged he and wife Julie Kirkbride, Bromsgrove MP, both claimed second home allowances.

The pair, whose appeals were rejected during Sir Thomas Legg's review of MPs' expenses, were forced to repay £60,000.

The Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat hopefuls in Bracknell want transparency but said MP salaries should be higher.

Ms Kirkbride claimed thousands of pounds in expenses for their family home in her constituency while Mr MacKay claimed on the property they shared in London.

I would be quite happy to represent Bracknell for a £65,000-a-year salary
Murray Barter, UKIP candidate

Dr Philip Lee, the Tory candidate in Bracknell, said: "Going forward, I think all politicians, and whoever is successful in Bracknell, need to behave with honour and dignity and I intend to do so.

"I think Andrew made some incorrect decisions... and I can promise you I won't do the same.

"I think transparency is the key. I think most people would rather have a situation where we have a salary and fewer expenses and if that is the case the salary would go up."

Labour's John Piasecki added: "I don't think in the end he [Mr MacKay] was truly sorry, I think he feels hard done by.

"As far as expenses are concerned they have to be open and transparent and available to the public.

"I think there are many people who could argue perhaps it [MPs' salaries] could be higher."

'Disgusted and outraged'

Ray Earwicker, for the Lib Dems, said: "It was quite a shock he [Mr MacKay] had been making these claims along with his wife for a number of years.

"The amount they have paid back is only £60,000 which is just about the resettlement amount he will get. In effect, he's not out of pocket at all.

"Everyone underestimates the amount of work that MPs do. It is a busy job and deserves to be paid reasonably and fairly.

"I would accept an increase but the [expenses] allowances need to be changed."

But UKIP's candidate Murray Barter said he would be happy with the salary of an MP.

"As a taxpayer I was absolutely disgusted and outraged at the amount of money the man took and the amount he was asked to pay was hardly scratching the surface," he said.

"I would be quite happy to represent Bracknell for a £65,000-a-year salary."

The candidates so far announced in Bracknell include:

Conservative: Dr Phillip Lee; Labour: John Piasecki; Lib Dem: Ray Earwicker; UKIP: Murray Barter; Green Party: David Young.



Print Sponsor



MOST POPULAR ELECTION STORIES NOW
ELECTION FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
But now comes the difficult part - making it work
Why has Eton College produced 18 British PMs?
Frantic talks on who will form the next government

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific