On Thursday nights from March to May, the country united, applauding from our doorsteps to show our deep, heartfelt gratitude to those putting their own lives at risk to see us through an unprecedented challenge. We clapped for all those on the frontline, and above all we clapped for our carers in the NHS and social care.
We were not clapping for our MPs. That’s why there is absolutely no justification, in my view, for MPs to be set for a £3,000 pay rise in April, as was reported over the weekend. Some of that reporting has been incredibly misleading – no decision has been taken, the independent body, IPSA that decides MPs’ pay has opened a consultation, (you can read more and give your view here: https://www.theipsa.org.uk/media/185757/20201008-consultation-periodic-adjustments-to-mps-salaries-final.pdf). I have already responded to their survey as an MP, outlining my opposition.
As Members of Parliament, myself and colleagues have no control over rates of pay. But that doesn’t mean we can’t show some leadership and backbone. As the Labour Leader Keir Starmer has already said, “this year of all years we (MPs) shouldn’t have it… that money, if it’s available, should be spent on key workers”.
When our heroes were rewarded with only applause and a pin badge, and families are struggling to make ends meet, MPs should be nowhere near the front of the queue for a pay rise. If the decision is taken by IPSA to go ahead, I will be increasing my donations to important local causes in East Hull, including Dove House Hospice.