REDDITCH MP Rachel Maclean has defended the MPs’ pay rise, saying she works ‘incredibly hard’ for her constituents.
MPs are set to get a 2.9 per cent increase from April, bringing the overall salary from £84,144 to £86,584.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which sets pay for MPs, confirmed the rise would take effect from April 1.
Mrs Maclean said: “The increase in basic pay for MPs this year is the same as the average increase in pay for public sector employees last year and far below the current rate of inflation.
“To put MPs pay in perspective, I’m paid far less than the chief executives of our local councils and the leaders of trade unions.
“A pay rise for MPs is never popular, but I work incredibly hard on behalf of my constituents and I deliver results, such as securing the return of the Garden Suite to the Alex.”
Mrs Maclean also said she wanted to clear up the myths about MPs food expenses, saying they did not get free meals in Parliament.
However, catering venues in the House of Commons sell food at a discounted rate compared to traditional retailers.
On the latest members’ dining room menu, a sirloin steak with thick cut chips costs £13.90.
In comparison a sirloin steak with fries at a Miller and Carter restaurant costs £33.95.
Last week Redditch Borough Councillors voted against accepting the independent renumeration panel’s recommendation to award councillors a severn per cent increase in allowances.
Redditch Borough Council leader, Coun Matt Dormer, said: “With the rises in costs hitting our residents it didn’t feel right contributing further to this with an added cost to the taxpayer.
“Although I’d like to add that our councillors work very hard representing their wards and I appreciate all the effort they put in.”
Although MPs can’t refuse the pay increase, West Midlands MPs have previously donated the extra cash to charities in their constituency – for example, Coventry South MP Zarah Sultana donated her pay increase to Coventry Foodbank.
Mrs Maclean added: “I only claim for the rent I need to stay in London in order to do my job, and never anything else associated with the costs of living in London for part of the week.
“All other costs such as utility bills and broadband, which I need for work, and items like furniture and TV licences are all paid for out of my own pocket.”
- WHAT do you think about MPs receiving a pay rise? Do you feel, as public servants, they should receive the increase as others have done? Maybe you feel they should use it for good causes as some have done? Email your views to [email protected]