@DrEoinCl @BBCDailyPolitics IPSA is an armslength quango but it’s still attached at the shoulder.

In response to the item about MP’s calling for large payrises, I emailed my MP , through http://www.theyworkforyou.com ,  and asked her if she intended to vote for this “obscene pay rise”

I didn’t find her response appealing:

Dear Mr Shale

 Thank you for your email dated 14th January and the link to a news story on the BBC website entitled ‘MPs call for 32% salary increase’.

 The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) is the body created by Parliament to independently oversee and regulate MPs’ expenses.

 IPSA was created in 2009 by the Parliamentary Standards Act following the scandal surrounding MPs expenses. New rules governing MPs’ expenses were introduced on 7 May 2010, immediately following the general election by the Constitutional Reform and Governance Act.

 IPSA has two main roles: they regulate the expenses system and also administer and pay MPs’ expenses and their salaries.

 IPSA is a clean break from the old system of allowances. It is independent of parliament, government and of political parties. As a result MPs no longer have the power to vote on their pay and conditions.

 As a new Member of Parliament, elected in May 2010, my pay, pension and expenses are now subject to the rules laid down by IPSA.

 Last week, IPSA published a report, upon which the BBC article to which you refer in your email was based, The report can be viewed online at the link below;

http//parliamentarystandards.org.uk/payandpensions/Documents/1.%20Revie wing%20MPs%27%2OPay%20and%2OPensions%20%20A%2OFirst%2OReport.pdf

 I did not participate in the survey referred to in the BBC article as I believe that the matter is for IPSA to determine, although I have no objection to MPs being consulted on the matter in the same way that public sector employees are consulted on pay and conditions.

 However, the primary issue for me is that MPs should not be able to determine their pay and pension arrangements and I will abide by whatever decision IPSA determines to be appropriate when it publishes its final recommendations later this year.

 IPSA have already determined that MPs pay will rise by 1% in 2013/14 and 1% in 2014/15. MPs’ pay has been subject to a pay freeze since April 2010.

 I further understand that any decisions arising from IPSA’s current review of pay and pension arrangements will take effect in the parliament elected following the next general election.

 For your information you can view my expenses online at the link below;

http://www.parliamentary-standards.org.uk/

 Yours sincerely, Yvonne Fovargue, Labour Member for Makerfield

I read this as:

“I don’t have to vote for it but I won’t reject it when the quango that we set up to decide our pay, forces me to accept it.”

As she is now a member of the Labour whip, I assume that this is in accord with the leader’s recommended response.

 

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