District’s MP calls for restraint over salary increases

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Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Andrew Jones has called for restraint when it comes to considering pay increases for backbench MPs.

The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which sets the scale for MPs, is expected to say later this month that salaries should rise from £66,000 to up to £75,000.

The suggestion has been branded “unthinkable” by Prime Minister David Cameron, a view backed by Harrogate and Knaresborough’s Conservative MP.

“I want to see the cost of politics coming down,” said Mr Jones. “It is a period of pay restraint throughout the public sector mirroring what has been happening for some time in the private sector.

“I think restraint is correct and I, along with colleagues have had my pay frozen. The Cabinet took a five per cent pay cut. I think this has been the right thing to do.”

The IPSA was set up in the wake of the expenses scandal to regulate MPs’ pay and pensions. Its recommendations are expected to be announced later this month and MPs and the public are asked to consult on the plants.

“I do not yet know what proposals IPSA will bring forward nor how those proposals have been reached,” said Mr Jones.

“I am sure that most people, like me, will want to see politics and politicians costing less and I would be very surprised if this wasn’t the overall feedback given to IPSA.”

His own expenses are published in his annual report which is delivered to every home, he said, adding that he earned £66,000 last year. “My salary and expenses are made very public. I am keen to go further on this than any of my predecessors.”