John Bercow 'Refuses To Cut Pension' As MPs Agree To Peg Their Contributions To Public Sector

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JOHN BERCOW
PA

John Bercow has refused to accept a cut to his generous pension scheme despite MPs and the prime minister agreeing to change theirs, it has been reported.

According to the Daily TelegraphBercow is entitled to a Speaker's pension worth around £40,000 a year.

The Speaker will receive the pension for the rest of his life, whenever he retires, and does not have to contribute to it while in post.

Bercow is also entitled to claim a pension as MP for Buckingham, although the newspaper said that it is not known whether he has chosen to take part in that scheme.

In June 2010 David Cameron announced he would not be taking the similar special pension he is entitled to as prime minister in addition to the pension he will receive as MP for Witney.

“There’s a special pension that was set up for the prime minister; I am not taking it,” he said.

On Monday MPs agreed to hand over responsibility for setting their pension to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) and agreed that contribution rates should rise in line with other public sector workers.

Sir George Young, the Leader of the Commons, said the government-backed move was necessary to prevent public anger being directed towards MPs.

"I think it is quite right that the House should make it quite clear to our constituents that we expect to be treated no differently to others in the public sector when it comes to the determination of our pension contributions," he told MPs.

The move was supported by Labour's newly appointed shadow Commons leader Angela Eagle who said it was "important that we are not seen to be exempting ourselves from the changes that are required".

But some MPs were unhappy at the decision to tie Ipsa's hand in determining the contribution they should make.

Labour backbencher Brian H Donohoe said the government should not be interfering with the independent decisions of Ipsa.

"I see no reason why the House should indicate that it would like our pension contributions to be treated in the same way as those of other public service workers.

"Ipsa has a statutory duty to act independently of parliament, and by giving such an indication, the House is putting undue pressure on Ipsa. It should not be influencing Ipsa in that way."

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