MPs to reject voting on pay

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POLITICIANS should have no role in voting on their own salaries, say Kirklees MPs .

Both Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood and Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell have said that all MPs should abide by the decision of the independent Senior Salaries Review Body (SSRB).

General election. Election Count. 06/07 May 2010. Huddersfield sports centre. Simon Reevell after beating Shahid Malik. (D07051081)

General election. Election Count. 06/07 May 2010. Huddersfield sports centre. Simon Reevell after beating Shahid Malik. (D07051081)

However Commons leader Sir George Young has urged MPs to reject the proposed one per cent rise, in light of a two-year salary freeze imposed on public sector workers who earn over £21,000. If he tabled a motion, MPs would vote on the increase.

Backbench MPs earn a salary of £65,738 meaning the increase would give them an extra £657 per year.

Labour MP Mr Wood said: “Members of Parliament do not get to set their own salary, it is set by an independent panel, which is right and proper.

“Whatever the panel decides, pay cut or pay rise, it is right that MPs do not set their own pay and I will continue to support this independent system.

“The government’s plan to give MPs the power to set their own pay is troubling many in Parliament, including many Conservatives.

“I fear this motion is designed to deflect attention away from this government of millionaires’ vindictive policy towards public sector workers, which many of us continue to oppose.”

Conservative MP Mr Reevell agreed that abiding by the SSRB’s recommendations, after MPs gave up the power to set their salaries in 2008, was correct.

“I think MPs should have nothing to do with voting on pay or allowances,” he said. “If we have a vote on a one per cent or zero per cent raise, then in principle it’s no different from voting on a five or 10 per cent raise.

“The power has rightly been taken away from MPs and I shall have nothing to do with the argument in one way or another.

“The way some MPs used their expenses during the last government was disgraceful and abused the trust that people put in them.

“There just should not be a vote at all.”