A BLACK Country MP has branded plans to hike up MPs’ pay as “completely bonkers” and has pledged to donate any extra cash he receives to good causes in Dudley.
Dudley North MP Ian Austin spoke out against the proposal by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to increase pay packets for politicians by 11 per cent – and promised, if the rise goes ahead, to give the money to needy borough organisations.
He said: “I think this increase is completely bonkers and I won’t be accepting it.
“I’m from Dudley and being the town’s MP is a huge privilege. It’s a well-paid job, but I earned more before I was an MP so I’m not in it for the money.
“Times are tough for people in Dudley and when so many local families are struggling with the cost of living and others are subject to pay restraint, I’ll use it to increase my support for good causes and organisations in Dudley.”
Mr Austin says members of independent body IPSA need to” come to their senses” – a sentiment echoed by Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris who said on Twitter that he believes “IPSA is wrong to put forward this pay increase” and that if re-elected in 2015 he will “not accept an 11 per cent rise”.
Stourbridge MP Margot James says she does intend to take a pay rise but “commensurate with the rest of the public sector at the time” and she added: “I think the pay rise proposed is excessive, so personally will only take part of it that is consistent with the rest of the public sector.
“However it is important to point out that the proposals also increase pension contributions and reduce severance pay, so it’s not all one way.”
Dudley South Chris Kelly refused to confirm or deny whether he would take any proposed payrise - simply referring the News to an email sent by the Government Chief Whip saying IPSA's recommendation was not final and would be reviewed after the election and that the Government would continue to stress "the cost of politics should go down and not up".