Boris, Gove, & Rishi Plea to IPSA For No Pay Rise, Refuse to Legislate to Stop One
Guido was surprised to not hear anything from Rishi on MP pay during his statement. He could have made the whole issue go away by adding one line to commit to legislating a pay freeze for MPs too. Instead it came down to Sir Peter Bottomley to ask the Chancellor what could be done to stop the expected 4.1% pay hike the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority have touted. Lindsay Hoyle noted IPSA will not take a decision until the new year, and Rishi went on to say that the Government has formally written to IPSA to discourage a pay rise…
“The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has written on behalf of the Government to IPSA in advance of this statement just to inform them of the Government’s approach to public sector pay and ask them to take that into consideration when they decide what they would like to do.
Obviously they are an independent body but we have expressed our views in light of the pay policy that we have announced today.”
This came after backbench Tory Dehenna Davison urged no MP pay rise in PMQs today. A proposition the PM responded to by saying “I know IPSA will have heard my honourable friend and I would encourage them not to proceed”. Except Boris, Gove, and Rishi do not have to send begging letters to IPSA. Parliament is sovereign, they can simply legislature to freeze their pay as they did today for the other well remunerated public sector workers…
Guido suspects the reason the Government does not want to legislate to stop a pay rise – even in a time like now – is they do not want to set a precedent of overruling IPSA, so the faux-complaints can continue and future pay rises can sail through post-pandemic. Politicians want more money but don’t want to be blamed for receiving it.