Politics

Boris Johnson says MPs should not get annual pay rise amid COVID-19 pandemic

Boris Johnson does not think MPs should get a pay rise, Downing Street has said.

“MPs’ salaries are obviously decided by an independent body but given the circumstances, the PM doesn’t believe MPs should be receiving a pay rise,” the prime minister’s spokesman told reporters.

The intervention comes as Britons continue to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid reports that Chancellor Rishi Sunak is poised to freeze the pay of millions of public sector workers.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) has proposed continuing to link parliamentarians’ pay to wage growth in the public sector.

This could result in a salary increase of more than £3,300 from next April, taking an MP’s salary to more than £85,000.

IPSA is proposing to use October’s three-month average public sector wage growth as the benchmark.

The exact figure for this is not known, but IPSA has acknowledged that it is “likely to exceed the rate of inflation”.

Its interim chairman Richard Lloyd said the body has a statutory duty to review MPs’ pay in the first year of each parliament.

“Given the huge economic uncertainties arising from the coronavirus pandemic, we do not think it is right to depart from this approach now,” he said.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has voiced his opposition to the pay rise, telling LBC Radio last month: “We shouldn’t have it.”

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