Darren Adam 1am - 4am
MPs awarded £2k pay rise as Brits face crippling tax hikes and cost of living soars
1 March 2022, 17:58 | Updated: 1 March 2022, 20:36
The basic salary of MPs is due to increase by more than £2,000 after the independent watchdog decided to upgrade their annual earnings - at a time where the cost of living for working Brits is soaring.
Listen to this article
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) has announced that the annual adjustment to MPs' basic pay for 2022-23 will be 2.7 per cent - the same as the average increase in pay for public sector employees last year.
It will bring the overall salary from £81,932 to £84,144 from April 1 2022 - an increase of £2,212 per year.
The move comes as Britons face a cost of living squeeze in April, with national insurance contributions going up to fund the NHS backlog caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the energy cap rising by more than 50 per cent.
In February the Bank of England boss told people not to ask for a pay rise despite the crisis, telling them it would worsen inflation.
But Richard Lloyd, Ipsa's chair, said it was "right" that MPs are "paid fairly", particularly with their work "dramatically" increasing in the past 12 months.
Ipsa said the decision was "in line" with its previous ruling in 2015 to adjust MPs' pay at the same rate as changes in public sector earnings published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
It is the first increase in MPs' pay for two years, as pay remained unchanged in 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis, the watchdog said in a statement.
Mr Lloyd said: "This is the first increase in pay for MPs in two years and follows the average of increases across the public sector last year.
"MPs play a vital role in our democracy and this is reflected in their pay.
"It is right that MPs are paid fairly for the responsibility and the unseen work they do helping their constituents, which dramatically increased last year.
"For Parliament to reflect society, it is vital that people from all walks of life can be an MP."
The Taxpayers' Alliance said working households were likely to be "furious" about MPs' earnings being increased while they "face crippling tax hikes".
"Elected officials should show restraint and only accept rises when economic conditions allow," said the pressure group's chief executive John O'Connell.
Ipsa was created in 2009 largely as a response to the MPs' expenses scandal in a bid to make expenses more transparent and make independent decisions on salary.