MP would donate pay rise to foodbanks

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A Derbyshire MP has said she would donate any potential pay rise to aid foodbanks.

North East Derbyshire MP Natascha Engel branded plans to hike MPs’ salaries by 11 per cent as “wrong”.

Under the reforms, MPs’ annual pay would soar from £66,396 this year to £74,000 in 2015.

The increase, proposed by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa), comes despite strong criticism from party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

Labour MP Ms Engel said: “I will not be taking the proposed salary increase.

“At a time of austerity when household incomes are so tight, when most of public sector pay is frozen, it would be wrong for MPs to accept a pay rise.

“If we are forced to take the increase, I will be giving the money to the foodbanks in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.”

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said he could not justify taking a pay rise.

He added: “At a time when the public is experiencing rising costs and static wages, they are going to think it’s outrageous that MPs are getting a salary hike.”

Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner said he would not accept the “excessive” pay increase.

Derbyshire Dales MP and Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin refused to confirm or deny whether he would accept the hike.

He said: “The Government has been pressing the case that IPSA should take into account overall public sector pay and pensions restraint. I support that approach.”

Amber Valley MP Nigel Mills did not respond to the Derbyshire Times’ request to comment.

Mathew Sinclair, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance campaign group, said: “Taxpayers will be furious that the pay rise comes at a time when MPs urge public pay restraint and the Chancellor tells us he can’t afford to ease the burden of taxes on hard-pressed households and businesses. Ipsa’s own polling and research shows that the current level of pay to be broadly fair and that the public simply do not back the increase.”

A Downing Street spokesman said: “MPs’ pay is a matter for Ipsa.”