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New Forest West MP Sir Desmond Swayne defends proposal to give MPs 2.7% pay rise

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SIR Desmond Swayne has defended the 2.7% pay rise agreed for MPs, pointing the finger at the independent body advising the increase.

He is due to be paid £2,212 more from 1st April, thanks to the rise announced by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA). It means for 2022/23 Sir Desmond will receive a basic pay of £84,144 – up from the previous year when it was £81,932.

The New Forest West MP admitted he had "received quite a correspondence" condemning the move.

Sir Desmond Swayne has "received quite a correspondence" on the rise (photo: parliament.tv)
Sir Desmond Swayne has "received quite a correspondence" on the rise (photo: parliament.tv)

"My reply is simple: ‘Not me, guv’," the veteran Tory backbencher said.

"For over a decade MPs' pay has been set by an independent body using a formula linking it to the level of pay in the public sector.

"Is the independent body making a reasonable fist of it, or is it being too generous?

"Well, if you average out the pay increases they have awarded us over the last decade it works out at 2.9% per year, which may be generous but not excessive.

"The important thing is that it is significantly below the rate of inflation. Hopefully, this will give a lead in pay negotiations: it is essential not to build inflationary expectations if we are to bring inflation under control."

He went on: "As an aside, given the column inches given to the MP pay award in the newspapers, when David Cameron’s coalition government came to power in 2010, with very stretched public finances, it immediately cut all ministerial pay by 5% and then froze it for five years.

"This received no press coverage at all – funny that."

However, the increase in pay amid the huge anticipated hike in energy bills was likely to make working households "furious", said low-tax lobby group the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he did not believe MPs should receive a rise.

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