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Friday, July 23, 2021

Further controversy as MPs pay may rise above public sector workers

The Independent reports that proposals set out by the independent watchdog which sets MPSs' salaries could mean them getting a pay rise above other public sector workers from next year.

The paper says the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has proposed that it is given new powers to vary the annual pay for MPs “below or above” public sector pay. This is despite news of a pay freeze for tens of thousands of public sector workers, which sparked outrage this week, while it also emerged the 3 per cent pay rise for doctors and nurses will come out of the existing NHS budget.

MPs’ pay – which currently stands at £81,932 a year – has been closely linked to public sector pay rates of pay over the past five years. But Ipsa wants greater leeway to make changes in pay – arguing that the Covid crisis means annual public sector pay rates could be a “much less reliable guide to changes in earnings than they are in ordinary times”.

As the article adds, on Thursday, the Police Federation of England and Wales said it no longer has confidence in the home secretary Priti Patel – branding a pay freeze for officers as “the final straw”. Ms Patel had confirmed that police officers earning more than £24,000 would be hit by the freeze, while those earning less will be given an annual rise of £250.

At the same time school leaders have condemned a pay freeze for teachers – confirmed this week by education secretary Gavin Williamson – as an insulting “slap in the face”.

This may not be the best time for IPSA to launch their consultation.
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