POLITICS
04/11/2013 04:47 GMT | Updated 04/11/2013 04:56 GMT

Party Leaders Have No Right To Block MPs' Pay Rise, Deputy Speaker Says

Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons calls for order, as Chancellor George Osborne delivers his budget to the House of Commons in Westminster, London.
PA
Lindsay Hoyle, the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons calls for order, as Chancellor George Osborne delivers his budget to the House of Commons in Westminster, London.

MPs should be allowed to accept an 11% pay rise and party leaders have no right to block it, the deputy Speaker of the House of Commons has said.

Following the expenses scandal of 2009, MPs were stripped of their right to decide their own salaries and the role was handed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa). The expenses watchdog is due to publish the conclusions of a consultation into MPs pay shortly, having suggested that backbenchers see their pay rise from £66,396 a year to £74,000 from 2015.

The move cause discomfort of party leaders, with David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg all recognising the public are unlikely to react well to the prospect of MPs seeing their pay rise while other public sector workers have seen their pay frozen.

But Lindsay Hoyle, the deputy Speaker of the Commons, told BBC Radio 4's Westminster Hour on Sunday evening that it was not up to the party leaders to "start dictating" what MPs should be paid.

"I think leaders have got to represent, I can see it's about them being the next prime minister or continuing as prime minister. In the end backbenchers need a voice and the voice was taken away and given to Ipsa," he said. "It isn't in my opinion the right of leaders to say what is good for backbenchers."

"If Ipsa said no pay increase, nobody minds and everybody accepts it. Don't change the rules if you don't quite like the result. It's not up to leaders to start dictating."

Hoyle said MPs who were on a higher salary, including himself, should not be saying "you shouldn't have a pay rise" to other MPs. "It's independent of parliament that's where I think it should remain," he said.

On Sunday it was revealed that MPs have spent £200,000 of taxpayers' money to cover the cost of their energy bills. Some 340 MPs, including Government ministers, have used the parliamentary expenses system to recoup the cost of heating their second homes, according to the Sunday Mirror.