Politicians should 'certainly have a pay freeze', says MP Steve Baker

23 November 2020, 10:22

By Fiona Jones

Conservative MP Steve Baker told LBC that it is an "ugly look" if politicians receive a £3,300 salary increase amid talks of a possible public sector pay freeze.

The MP for Wycombe said that those in Westminster should "certainly" take a pay freeze as reports show the Chancellor could halt public sector wages in his spending plans which will be announced on Wednesday.

Trade unions warn of a public sector strike if Rishi Sunak makes this move in his bid to bolster public finances after a huge rise in spending to fight coronavirus.

Those affected would likely be those who were considered key workers such as the police, teachers, armed forces and civil servants - an outcome which unions brand "insulting" as they have "underpinned the fabric of society" during the pandemic.

"I've already said on Twitter that MPs should certainly have a pay freeze, even if it means legislating to take from IPSA their independence on these matters," Mr Baker said.

He told Nick Ferrari he was "sick" of the MPs' expenses situation "being mischaracterised": "I have never had a slap up dinner at taxpayer expense other than the extent to which I am paid by the taxpayer.

"I am really parsimonious in my use of expenses, it's not normally expenses in the expense people would consider them, it's things like employing staff and staff having reasonable costs.

"Some of the things people believe about our expenses are simply untrue."

The Treasury has not commented on the speculation, however the Chancellor's July plans for the upcoming Spending Review were outlined in a press release: "In the interest of fairness we must exercise restraint in future public sector pay awards."