MPs get 3.1% pay rise as bill for running costs set to top £200m

MPs get 3.1 per cent pay rise as their bill for salaries and expenses is set to top £200million a year for the first time – up 40% since the 2009 scandal

MPs will get a 3.1 per cent pay rise from next month – with their running costs set to top £200million for the first time.

Salaries for politicians will rise to nearly £82,000 after the increase – first revealed by MailOnline in December – was confirmed by the independent watchdog.  

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has also announced that the MPs’ staffing budgets are to soar by 13 per cent, or £19.7million.

It means the bill for members’ salaries, personal and office expenses is expected to exceed £200million next year, having gone up around 40 per cent higher in the decade since the expenses scandal rocked Westminster.

Pay for MPs is now controlled by Ipsa, which has linked it to the rise in average weekly public sector earnings from November.

The House of Lords is also set to increase the tax-free daily allowance for peers by the same percentage to £323 – despite criticism that they are not salaried.

Salaries for MPs will rise to nearly £82,000 after the increase announced by Ipsa today

Richard Lloyd, interim chair of Ipsa, said: ‘Our review of MPs’ staffing budgets in 2019 found demands on MPs’ offices were high, with staff doing difficult and stressful casework with constituents on a very wide range of problems.

‘There was often high staff turnover, with salary levels below comparable roles elsewhere, based on independent benchmarked evidence. In many MPs’ offices, relatively little time or money was spent on staff training, wellbeing and development.

‘As a result, we have provided additional funding in MPs’ 2020-21 staffing budgets for staff training and welfare, security, and changes to the salary bands and job descriptions for MPs’ staff to bring them into line with the jobs they actually do.’  

Speaker Lindsay Hoyle confirmed earlier this week that the staffing budget is set to rise by £19.7million next year, saying a review had found workers were underpaid compared to equivalent roles elsewhere.

Ipsa’s accounts for last year show that spending on MPs’ salaries, expenses and office costs was just under £183million. 

The overall budgets were increased in the current financial year, and the staff uplift now slated for 2020-21 looks certain to push the total over £200million.

By contrast, in 2011-12 – the first full year Ipsa was in charge of MPs’ pay and expenses – the total cost was just under £140million.

Much of the increase has been driven by security costs, amid heightened fears about the threat to politicians – especially in the wake of the murder of Jo Cox in 2016. 

There was also a big pay increase for MPs in 2015, after another review by Ipsa, and expenses rules on travel and accommodation have been loosened somewhat to help those with children. 

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has also announced that the MPs’ staffing budgets are to soar by 13 per cent, or £19.7million

The running costs of the Commons itself have also risen dramatically, from around £190million in 2011-12 to £264million in 2018-19. 

Under the latest changes, each MP will receive a budget increase of 13.1 per cent (£21,900) for staff in London and 13.9 per cent (£21,600) for staff outside the capital.

The change was signed off after the Speaker’s Committee on Ipsa, chaired by Sir Lindsay, agreed the watchdog’s overall budget this week.

Sir Lindsay said this week: ‘Bearing in mind the growing number of complex cases that are brought to our constituency offices, it’s important staff are paid fairly for the vital job they do.

‘My own staff regularly have to help distressed constituents who are suicidal, fleeing domestic violence, have suffered rape, are homeless, need referrals to food banks, have the bailiffs banging at their doors, and are struggling to cope.’ 


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