REDDITCH MP Karen Lumley is to receive a 10 per cent salary increase in line with MPs around the country.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority announced the pay rises, saying MPs have been underpaid, but allowed too much in expenses.
Salaries will go up £7,000, from £67,060 to £74,000. This will also lead to an increase in their pensions, due to the increase in contributions.
Reporter Sam Knowles took to the streets of Redditch to find out what residents thought of the issue and whether Mrs Lumley deserves the pay rise.
Shopper Chris O’Connor was forthright: “I don’t think so because some of them just don’t deserve it.”
Pauline Ingleby though felt the MP might well be worth the rise: “I think it depends really, she seems as though she is quite a busy lady,” she said.
However Theresa Heneghan felt it was unfair: “No, it’s not right, not in the current climate with NHS workers getting one per cent,” she said.
Fay Wheatcroft though felt MPs were worth it: “Yes,” she said, “if they are going to make a difference. If they continue the way they are then yes.”
Luke Jackson was less forgiving: “If everybody else in the country is getting a pay rise then yes, but otherwise no.”
Martin Smith agredd. He said: “I don’t think any of them are worth a 10 per cent pay rise. In the public sector with nurses pay I think it is absolutely disgusting.”
Mrs Lumley herself said she had come into politics to make a difference, not to make money.
“We’re in a no win situation here. Before I became an MP people were making claims on expenses that were not acceptable so Parliament set up this body to look at expenses and MPs pay.
“It’s come at a bad time and the Prime Minister himself asked them to reconsider.
“However we have been told that with paying increased tax and pension contributions that the whole thing is cost neutral so it shouldn’t be a cost to the taxpayer.”
Mrs Lumley’s position as Parliamentary Private Secretary at the Department of Health does not add to her MP’s salary.