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Pay rise 'can’t come soon enough' says Harpenden MP Peter Lilley
Harpenden’s Peter Lilley has shown his support for a potential pay rise for MPs.
The politicians, who are currently paid a basic rate of £66,396, could be given an increase of between £10,000 and £20,000 under new recommendations.
This would make their salary more than three times the national average of £26,500.
They also receive expenses which could include covering the costs of running an office, employing staff, having a home in London and their constituency and travelling between the two.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), which has set MPs wages since the 2010 general elections, is currently looking into the issue and the final wage will be announced along with the rest of the package in autumn.
An anonymous consultation into pay and pensions carried out by IPSA found that 69 per cent of MPs think they are underpaid and on average suggested that salaries should be £86,250.
Although Mr Lilley said that he personally does not need the pay rise, he said that newer MPs needed the extra cash.
The Conservative politician said: "There has never been a right time for MPs to have a pay rise.
"In very few jobs would you have to run two houses.
"Some of them are struggling to survive because of the costs that are involved with running two homes and transporting families back and forth.
"As far as I’m concerned I think it can’t come soon enough."
He also stated that the government has to offer a competitive wage to attract good MPs from public and private sector jobs.
He said: "We have to pay them something that is not that much below what they were previously getting."
St Albans MP Anne Main refused to comment on the issue.
Other MPs in neighbouring areas disagree with Mr Lilley’s view, believing that a pay rise would not be in keeping with the current economic climate.
Richard Harrington, Conservative MP for Watford, said: "I think it is wrong for members of parliament to have pay rises when members of their constituency haven’t.
"I think it sends out the wrong message. We have to be in the same position as them.
"At the moment people are not getting pay rises so I think it is wrong for MPs to."
Mike Penning, whose constituency includes Kings Langley, said that he will donate any pay rise he receives to charity.
In the past the Conservative politician has donated pay rises to the British Legion.
He said: "I don’t think it should be anything to do with us.
"I don’t think MPs should have any say on it what so ever.
"If it is put through I will find a good cause for it to go to."
David Gauke, MP for South West Hertfordshire, refused to say directly whether he was for or against the rises.
However he said: "I think it is right that we move away from the system where MPs can determine their own pay. It should be set by an independent body.
"And that body needs to reflect the general economic conditions.
"It needs to be sensitive to what is happening elsewhere."
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