MPs divided on controversial pay rise suggestions

W41015H13-ArticStar''Artic StarMedal Award Ceremony to pay homage to Veterans who served aboard the Artic Convoys during World War II. Pictured is Tim Loughton MP. Worthing Town Hall.
W41015H13-ArticStar''Artic StarMedal Award Ceremony to pay homage to Veterans who served aboard the Artic Convoys during World War II. Pictured is Tim Loughton MP. Worthing Town Hall.

MPs in line for pay rises of 11 per cent have taken contrasting stances on the issue – with one local representative refusing to say if he will accept the increase.

Independent parliamentary watchdog IPSA will recommend a salary rise of more than £7,500 to £74,000, to come into force after the 2015 election.

But while East Worthing and Shoreham MP Tim Loughton has stated the ‘badly timed’ proposal would be ‘unwelcome’, Worthing West’s Sir Peter Bottomley has refused to be drawn on whether or not he would accept it.

Sir Peter argued that he did not need the rise but younger MPs could struggle without it.

When asked if he would accept the rise, he said: “I am openly not going to answer the question.

“In 1983, when I was 37, my third child had arrived and I faced leaving the Commons or going broke or crooked.”

He added: “If I choose not to take the full salary now, that is because I do not need to. I would have done when it was necessary.

“I ask how much of a salary cut we should ask of a general practitioner in medicine or the deputy head of a sixth-form college should take to serve as a general practitioner in political service.”

Mr Loughton noted the report was compiled by an independent committee, which MPs were not yet privy to.

He said MPs were ‘damned whatever we do’.

He said: “Independent of MPs, IPSA launched a review into pay and pensions and it would appear has now come to the conclusion that MPs should be better paid.

“That is not a decision made by MPs, yet, unsurprisingly, we are being blamed for it.

“At these difficult times when public service pay has been frozen or limited to one per cent, I think it inappropriate that we should be treated differently.”

Mr Loughton called for a full debate of the issue and was awaiting the full report.

It is unclear whether MPs could individually opt out of the rise.

Bognor Regis and Littlehampton’s Nick Gibb and Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs, were also approached for comment, but were unavailable before the Herald and Gazette went to press.