MP to donate pay increase
Ferrier slams ‘outrageous’ rise
Margaret Ferrier MP has vowed to donate her pay rise to a local charity.
The Rutherglen and Hamilton West member made the promise this week as she described the 10 per cent increase in MPs’ pay as “outrageous and unjustifiable in a time of austerity”.
MPs of all Westminster parties will see their annual salary increase by £ 7000 to £ 74,000 with the rise backdated to May 8.
The controversial move is being brought in by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, an autonomous body created by Parliament in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal.
IPSA say the increase is a “one-off adjustment” with chairman Sir Ian Kennedy saying MPs’ pay had been a “toxic” issue “which had been ducked for decades”.
From next year MPs’ pay will be linked to other jobs in the public sector.
But Ms Ferrier believes it is a bad move that would further increase distrust of politicians.
She confirmed her increase would go to charity, saying: “There are plenty of deserving local good causes, and with many experiencing funding issues in recent years, I know that any extra donations I’m now able to make will be gratefully received.
“Now is a time of austerity and huge financial difficulties for far too many people. It is not right for MPs to have a pay rise in these circumstances.
“It’s wrong for MPs to get a pay rise at a time when many families across Rutherglen and Cambuslang are struggling to make ends meet financially.
“George Osborne has just announced that public sector workers will have their pay rises capped at one per cent for at least the next four years. Under these circumstances, the mandatory 10 per cent pay rise for MPs cannot be called anything else other than absurd.
“Politics in general has an image problem. Many people feel disenfranchised and detached from the political process, and to further inflate the earnings of well-paid politicians will only serve to further that sense of disconnect.”
The pay increase has been widely criticised by politicians of all parties, including the Prime Minister David Cameron.
But IPSA say the increase won’t cost the taxpayer a penny due to a restructured pension scheme and the loss of some expenses, such as for evening meals.
Refusal Margaret Ferrier MP will not take her 10 per cent increase